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World Potato Congress Welcomes New Directors and International Advisor

World Potato Congress Inc. appointed Dr. Peter VanderZaag (left) and John Jamieson (middle) to the Board of Directors and André Jooste (right) to the International Advisory Committee

David Thompson, President and CEO of World Potato Congress Inc. announced today appointments to the WPC Board of Directors and International Advisory Committee.

“With the recent retirement of two directors the Board took advantage of an opportunity to bring new perspectives to the table,” said Thompson.

The appointments dovetail nicely with the adoption, during 2015, of a new strategic plan designed to encourage a more proactive role for the Congress in the global potato industry. In particular the Board wishes to facilitate growth and development in regions where opportunities emerge from challenges.

President Thompson:

“The three appointees being announced today will strengthen the Board and the International Advisory Committee while WPC strives to achieve objectives set out in the new strategic plan.”

Peter VanderZaag appointed to the Board of Directors

Dr. VanderZaag is President of SunRise Potato Ltd, at Alliston, Ontario, Canada. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Dr. Hubert Zandstra.

Dr. VanderZaag will track and report on potato related issues throughout East Asia and China, as well as offer advice to the World Potato Congress Inc., regarding programs and initiatives of the Congress. Dr. VanderZaag’s academic, business and agricultural background make him an ideal director. His ability to work collaboratively with others is recognized and appreciated by his peers across the globe.

“We look forward to a long and productive relationship with Peter,” said President Thompson, “World Potato Congress Inc. will benefit immeasurably from his contribution.”

Profile: Dr. Peter VanderZaag

Dr. Peter VanderZaag

Together with his wife, daughter and son in law, Peter manages SunRise Potato: a large scale farming operation founded in 1991.

Sun Rise Potato grows, stores and markets over 500 hectares of chip stock potatoes annually. Peter also has a potato breeding program which focuses on developing processing varieties for long-term storage at lower than normal temperatures, as well as scab and insect resistance.

Peter joined the Board of Trustees of the International Potato Center (CIP) in 2008 and served one year as chair of the Program Committee. In April 2009 he was elected chair of the Board and served in that capacity for 4 years. CIP has an annual budget of $45 Million and does Research for Development work in 30 developing countries around the world.

Peter currently does annual consulting trips to Asia and Africa, advising on Research and Development issues related to Potatoes in the Developing world.

John Jamieson appointed to the Board of Directors

John Jamieson is Deputy Minister of the Prince Edward Island Department of Agriculture and Fisheries. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of the former deputy, John MacQuarrie.

Mr. Jamieson has been responsible for directing activities on a diverse range of agriculture industry priorities including policy implementation, government relations and regulatory matters.

He is a Professional Agrologist with a wide range of experiences. John’s experience dealing with government agencies will bring added strength to the Board as we move forward, confirmed President Thompson.

Profile: John Jamieson

John Jamieson

John previously served as the Executive Director of the Prince Edward Island Federation of Agriculture. In that role, he was responsible for directing Federation activities on a diverse range of agriculture industry priorities including policy implementation, government relations, regulatory matters and environment.

A Professional Agrologist and Certified Nutrient Management Planner, John has worked in agriculture for a number of years and has a comprehensive understanding of the issues impacting the industry. He has participated extensively on a number of committees for the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, including the role of chair of the Agriculture Policy Framework Strategic Investments Working Group, the Agriculture Research Committee, and the Revenue Enhancement Committee.

He is a member of the national federation's working group that developed the organization's National Food Strategy and sits on the Farm and Food Care Foundation Board of Directors.

André Jooste appointed to the International Advisory Committee

Dr. Jooste is Chief Executive Officer of Potatoes South Africa. He has extensive experience in business, academia and agriculture throughout South Africa, where he completed PhD studies in Agricultural Economics at the University of the Free State.

Andre fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Dr. Ben Pieterse. With his comprehensive knowledge of the potato industry across the African continent we are confident André will make a significant contribution to our efforts there, said Thompson.

Profile: Dr. André Jooste

Dr. André Jooste

Throughout his academic career André has earned experience as a lecturer, and Associate Professor at the University of Pretoria as well as Chairperson of the Department of Agricultural Economics at the University of the Free State.

In 2013 he joined Potatoes South Africa (PSA) as Chief Executive Officer. Since joining PSA a new strategy was developed and is currently being implemented. The strategy pertains mainly to the four core business units of PSA, namely research, information, transformation and market development and product promotion to ensure the sustainability and profitability of potato production, as well as a growing demand for potatoes, while introducing and instilling good corporate governance throughout the organisation.

André has extensive experience in conducting market, policy, rural and industry analysis. He is acknowledged by peers in the primary and secondary agricultural environment as an expert on international trade issues and their implications from a country, industry and firm point of view.

He currently serves on various agricultural industry and government committees and has extended networks in the private and public sector environments (national & international).