Top GB potato players to promote World Potato Congress at Potato Expo 2012

Potato Expo 2012

Two top GB potato industry players are crossing the Atlantic January 4-6 not just to quiz the U.S. industry on its latest techniques at Potato Expo 2012 but to promote the benefits of attending World Potato Congress 2012 in Edinburgh, Scotland in May.

Allan Stevenson, Chairman Potato Council

Allan Stevenson, chairman of the levy-funded (checkoff equivalent) Potato Council and Mark Prentice, Edinburgh-based head of seed and export at the same organization, are Orlando-bound from Scotland to work with World Potato Congress Inc directors to encourage industry players to attend the triennial, global event, May 27-30.

With Bayer CropScience as diamond sponsor and over $300,000 of commercial sponsorship already pledged from big names across the industry, not just in agrochemicals, machinery, fresh and processing supply chains but key international seed enterprises, WPC2012 is on-course to be a truly world-class event. Organisers have already announced a remarkable line-up of international speakers from the USA, Scotland, England, The Netherlands, China, New Zealand, South Africa, Australia and Canada, with more still to announce. Delegates can expect a business-critical and most enjoyable congress, according to the British ambassadors.

Stevenson, a potato grower and businessman from Scotland will call on all sectors of the potato industry, no matter in which country they are based, to examine the opportunities that the triennial congress offers for industry leaders to come together. “It’s the place to hear and meet big players and to identify big opportunities. WPC2012 provides a unique opportunity for potato growers, farm input suppliers, scientists and researchers, purchasers and processors, retailers and the food service sector to share information to the benefit of our global industry. They’ll find vital new knowledge not just from Britain but from potato-growing nations around the world,” he says. Based at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre in the heart of the city, with industry tours in the area too, WPC2012 has something for everyone and everyone will take something away to make a difference to their business. That’s the pledge from Canada-based WPC Inc, Potato Council and the event organising team.

Mark Prentice, Potato Council head of seed and export

“Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital city and seat of the Scottish Parliament, is steeped in history and boasts a stunning, rich architectural heritage ensuring delegates will have an equally impressive experience away from the congress auditorium and seminars,” says Prentice. “We’ve arranged international and home-grown speakers for the congress and surrounded that knowledge exchange and seminar participation programme with great networking, exhibition and social activities.”

Outside the auditorium delegates and partners can choose from a walking tour in the city, a visit to a whisky distillery, a golf tournament at the 18-hole Archerfield Dirleton Links – just 70 miles from St Andrews, the 600-year-old home of golf – and dinner with friends and colleagues at night;or they can opt for dinner on the Royal Yacht Britannia, a unique British experience only available in Edinburgh. The congress gala dinner – delegates can opt to hire a kilt or wear other traditional dress – will be held in the stunning, newly-renovated National Museum of Scotland.

“The industry interaction tours associated with the congress will give every delegate the chance to visit a selection of growers, breeders, purchasers/processors, retailers and scientific institutions so they can immerse themselves in the Scottish potato industry,” concludes Prentice. “I know everyone will benefit from that interaction.”

WPC2012 is set to be an outstanding, world-class event, insists Stevenson and we’re looking forward to showing off our industry, sharing our knowledge and learning from visitors from around the world.