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Europatat President Kees van Arendonk and Europatat Secretary General Raquel Izquierdo de Santiago at the conference (Courtesy: @Daphne_vanDoorn)

At the end of last week the Europatat Congress 2015 took place, organised in coordination by Europatat, the European Potato Trade Association, and DKHV, the German Potato Trading Association (Deutscher Kartoffelhandelsverband).

Feedback on the congress has been extremely positive.

Under the slogan “Potato Market - A creative approach”, the Congress focused on providing fresh creative ideas for the industry. The keynote speakers were Prof. Dr. h.c. Harald von Witzke (Humboldt University Berlin) that gave participants his insight about the value of modern agriculture to society, Katrin Bohn (University of Technology Berlin), who spoke about architectural developments on how to grow food in the city and the impact this could have, and Niels Alzen (Creative Director Scholz & Friends) who showcased that it is possible to change the prejudices that consumers might have about a product through clever advertising and marketing strategies.

Participants also had the opportunity to review the different activities of Europatat during the well attended meetings of the various Europatat Commissions (early potatoes & packers, RUCIP & technical and regulatory issues, seed potatoes, and ware potatoes). These sessions featured notable guest speakers, such us Barbara Gallani (Director - Regulatory, Science and Health, UK Food & Drink Federation) who spoke about no-carb diets, food scares and regulation, and Kees Maas (CEO of DCA Group, Netherlands) who gave his very particular view on risk management in potato growth, giving good inspiration to participants.

At the AGM held on Friday 8 May, the annual activity report was introduced and the accounts were approved by the members. The social events, which included a typical evening at the famous old brewery UERIGE at the old town of Düsseldorf, a Gala dinner at the "Industrie Club Düsseldorf" and a visit to Cologne, provided members and other participants with an opportunity to reinforce the networking and contact among the European potato community.