IFA President Tim Cullinan has called on consumers, retailers and the foodservice sector to support Irish potato growers.
He said the Irish potato industry is a critical indigenous sector worth €80m at the farm gate. Four hundred growers’ plant over 8,000 hectares annually. Potato growers supply high quality, nutritious produce to Irish consumers throughout the year.
The planted acreage this year is similar to 2019, which was a historically low level. With yields expected to be just average, the market is balanced regarding supply and demand.
Marking National Potato Day, IFA President Tim Cullinan urged consumers and the foodservice sector to always choose Irish potatoes instead of imported produce.
He said, “The foodservice sector, in particular, must check the origin of the potatoes it uses. Importation of potatoes undermines the Irish market. By choosing Irish; you are supporting vital jobs in the rural economy”.
IFA Potato Chairman Thomas McKeown stated that this year had been challenging for growers, particularly those supplying the volatile foodservice sector.
“If the current situation has taught us anything, it is the importance of supporting local producers. Growers have absorbed all of the extra costs associated with additional measures required on farms. Growers must be encouraged to continue producing high-quality crops at a fair price that sustains production.”
This year’s National Potato Day organised by Bord Bia seeks to help cooks to expand their knowledge and cooking skills when it comes to potatoes as a meal component.
Bord Bia has teamed up with GAA stars – Mayo’s Sarah Rowe and Dublin’s Sinead Goldrick to promote potatoes as fuel for optimum sports performance. Bord Bia’s Fresh Produce Manager Lorcan Burke said that lockdown had reinvigorated consumers love for potatoes when potato sales increased significantly. A suite of new recipes is available online to help people expand their cooking skills.
Check www.potato.ie for more information and delicious recipes and to find out about the health and nutritional benefits of potatoes.