IFA President Joe Healy has called on consumers and retailers to support Irish potato growers.
He said the Irish potato industry is an important indigenous sector worth €80m at farm gate. 500 growers plant over 8,000 hectares annually.
Marking National Potato Day, Joe Healy urged retailers to recognise the high quality, nutritious produce that Irish growers bring to the market. IFA will not tolerate any unsustainable discounting by retailers this season. This year’s acreage was the second lowest on record, therefore supply may not be sufficient to meet demand. Growers must be encouraged to continue producing high quality crops at a fair price that sustains ongoing production.
IFA Potato Chairman Thomas McKeown asked 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. He also asked the food service sector to check that their suppliers are sourcing Irish produce.
The theme for this year’s National Potato Day organised by Bord Bia is “Like, Share Cook Spuds: Bringing the Potato from on-the-boil to on-line” The theme builds on research commissioned this year which showed that millennials do not think that potatoes are ‘instagrammable’ i.e. suitable to appear on social media applications such as instagram. The initiative calls on consumers particularly millennials, to appreciate the role potatoes have worldwide in providing employment, nourishment and food security.
Promotional events will run around the country today, including farm visits and activities such as cookery competitions in UCD, DCU, NUIG and UCC organised by IFA members. The main event on National Potato Day itself will be an outdoor food event where chef Padraig Og Gallagher will demonstrate the nutritional importance of potatoes.
Check www.potato.ie for more information on events, delicious recipes and to find out about the health and nutritional benefits of potatoes.