The North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission (NCSPC) has announced that Michelle Grainger has joined the commission as executive director.
With over 20 years of management experience to draw from, Grainger most recently served as managing director of NC State University’s Executive Farm Management Program.
“I am excited to join one of the state’s oldest and largest commodity groups and very much look forward to helping our members and their operations grow while providing value to our consumers and the state’s top industry,' she said. 'The sweet potato farmers of NC are an impressive group and their level of expertise and knowledge of their product is best-in-class.
'The strong partnerships the NCSPC has built over the years across our state and country – much less internationally, can be attributed to the incredible leadership and vision of the pioneers of this industry which has been carried through to today,' Grainger added.
With regards to international business, Europe is a key focus for Grainger: 'I am curious to visit the European market where NC sweet potatoes are quite popular. The NC Sweet Potato Commission has had great success with its efforts in this market in recent years and I look forward to further growth and increased availability of our state’s sweet potatoes in the future.
'In the past decade, the volume of US sweet potatoes imported into Europe has increased by more than 600 per cent,' she added. 'North Carolina is the largest sweet potato producer, averaging at nearly 60 per cent of the US supply, our growers, packers, and shippers are committed to ensuring our European neighbours continue to enjoy our state’s superfood all year long.'
Grainger will be in close digital contact with the NCSPC's European associates and is looking forward to meeting the partners in person as soon as overseas journeys are possible again.