Potato Council secures EU funding for promotional campaign

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Potato Council director Rob Clayton has welcomed the EU Commission’s decision to approve 50% EU co-funding for an approximate £3.6m joint-venture information and promotion campaign to support potatoes in the British and Irish markets.

Dr Clayton said of the decision: “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. 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.”

The three-year ‘Potato Potential’ programme will inform and educate consumers through key opinion influencer, such as the press, MP’s and bloggers. Highly targeted activities will demonstrate that potatoes are nutritious, convenient and versatile and can be used in innovative ways suitable for a busy, modern lifestyle.

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

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.”

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