Marking National Potato Day, which takes place tomorrow (Friday October 6th), IFA President Joe Healy has called on consumers and retailers to support the Irish potato sector.
He said, it is a very important indigenous industry worth €85m at farm gate, with 500 growers planting almost 9,000 hectares annually.
IFA Potato Committee Chairman, Eddie Doyle insisted that retailers recognise and respect the massive investments potato growers have made in machinery and cold storage to ensure a continuous twelve-month supply of Irish product. He said, “Potatoes must be sold as a premium product and not used in any retail practices that undermine the primary producer”.
The Potato Chairman urged consumers to choose Irish potatoes ahead of other imported produce. He said that in addition to making a healthy food choice they would also be supporting vital jobs in the rural economy. Doyle also asked the hotel and catering sectors to ensure that their suppliers are sourcing Irish produce.
National Potato Day is part of a €1m, three-year promotion campaign organised by Bord Bia designed to signal the health benefits of the potato. The theme for this year’s celebration Potatoes: What’s Under The Skin will emphasise the health benefits of Ireland’s most popular vegetable.
National Potato Day Ambassador, Dietician Aoife Hearne, will highlight how carbohydrates are an essential source of energy for our bodies and in particular our brain functions. She advocates potatoes as a natural, unprocessed food which offers a top quality, fat-free and gluten-free carbohydrate option.
Promotional events will run around the country on National Potato day, including farm visits and supermarket tastings organised by IFA members.
Check www.potato.ie for more information on events, a variety of delicious recipes; and, to find out about the health and nutrition benefits of potatoes.
National Potato Day is a joint initiative of IFA, Bord Bia and the Irish Potato Federation.