IFA National Potato Chairman Eddie Doyle has called on consumers to buy Irish potatoes to support our important indigenous industry.
Marking National Potato Day, which falls tomorrow (Friday, October 3rd),Eddie Doyle also urged retailers to recognise the massive investments potato growers have made in machinery and cold storage to ensure a continuous twelve-month supply of Irish product. “Growers deserve a viable price for their product and potatoes must be sold as a premium product, and not be used in practices such as below cost selling. We cannot see a repeat of the poor prices witnessed last season.”
“Ireland’s potato growers produce a crop with a farmgate value of €100 million. An important domestic crop, synonymous with Irish agriculture, potatoes also have very important health benefits. There is more Vitamin C in a potato than there is in an orange, more fibre than an apple, and more potassium than in a banana. The potato also has over 60 phytochemicals that can help you fight illness, slow aging and even feel happier,” Doyle said.
There are approximately 500 Irish potato growers producing greater than 5 hectares of potatoes, however the top 200 growers produce about 75% of the commercial crop. This year will see 60,000 fewer tonnes of Irish potatoes in the market, with the area planted for 2014 at 9,342 hectares – a 15% reduction on 2013.
Events will run around the country on National Potato day, including farm visits 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.