early potatoes

Campaign will support British and Irish potato markets

The UK’s Potato Council and Ireland’s Bord Bia have won €2.3 million (£1.6m) of EU funding for a joint promotional campaign to support potatoes in the British and Irish markets.

The EU is funding 50 per cent of the three-year campaign, entitled ‘Potato Potential’, as part of the latest wave of promotional grants, released yesterday by the European Commission. The total cost of the campaign is estimated to be €4.6 million (£3.3m).

It will use “highly-targeted activity” to inform consumers about health and convenience qualities of potatoes, and aim to reach key opinion influencers, such as the press, MPs and bloggers.

“This extra funding from the EU gives us the opportunity to increase our marketing activity in promoting the healthy values of potatoes,” said the Potato Council’s head of marketing and corporate affairs, Nick White.

“We want to make sure that consumers see them as relevant and desirable; they are fat free, salt free and low in sugar, have fewer calories than pasta and rice and are incredibly versatile. The extra funding will give us a boost and help ensure that consumers are getting the message loud and clear.”

The Potato Council’s director, Rob Clayton, welcomed the EC’s decision to award funding. “I am delighted to see the EU recognition and financial support for an industry programme to raise consumer awareness of the versatility and nutritional values of fresh potatoes,” he said.

“We are looking forward to working with Bord Bia on this programme to deliver valuable home market opportunities and provide the industry with the support to grow.”

Mike Neary, manager of horticulture at Bord Bia (the Irish Food Board) said: “We are pleased to be partnering AHDB/Potato Council in successfully securing EU funds to promote potatoes in both markets over the next three years.

“The potato market and consumers in both countries are broadly similar and the Irish Food Board and Potato Council face a common challenge to increase potato consumption within both populations.”