In what the United Nations has designated as the International Yearof the Potato, producers in the German region of Pfalz have formed anew producer organisation which they hope will raise awareness of theregion's tubers among consumers.

The formation of the PfälzischeFrüh-, Speise, und Veredlungskartoffel-Erzeugergemeinschaf wasofficially announced this week in Fußgönheim near Ludwigshafen,heralding Pfalz's very own Year of the Potato.

Supporting the launch were German agricultural marketing body CMA and the Rheinland-Pfalz Ministry of EconomicAffairs, Transport, Agriculture and Viticulture.

'The event was aimed at increasing consumer demand for potatoes from the region, and I think wehave succeeded,' said Roland Brähler, regional manager of the CMA.

Television chef Sarah Wiener was on hand to explain some of the ways inwhich the region's potatoes can be used. A special exhibition at theFußgönheim Potato Museum is also being held to coincide with the launch.