IFA/Teagasc National Potato Conference 2014
Ireland’s potato industry continues to undergo significant change. Supply and demand were traditionally the dominant market forces in relation to farm gate price. Growers today are faced with other market factors such as; the concentration of buying power by the multiple retailers, the loss leader approach being used by retailers to sell potatoes and the increased integration of the potato supply chain.
Actions taken by the retailers before Christmas, selling potatoes as loss leaders, have contributed to a very weak potato market. Despite excellent harvest conditions and good yields, many growers are burdened with substantial debt and subsequent cash-flow difficulties, which are jeopardising the viability of potatoes on these farms.
This year’s Conference, organised by the Irish Farmers’ Association and Teagasc in association with Bord Bia, looks at the overall theme of Addressing Market Challenges. The first session will address consumer trends and market development and we have assembled key speakers from Ireland and the UK to address this topic. Bord Bia will present the results of on-going research on key consumer trends and attitudes to potatoes.
The afternoon session will address Teagasc’s research studies on GM Potatoes in addition to a presentation from ADAS, which will look at minimising compaction by using different establishment methods and also assessing the benefits of using green manures prior to planting potatoes.
IFA and Teagasc acknowledge the presence and valued support today of industry associated exhibitors and conference sponsors.
We hope that 2014 will bring viability back into our industry.