Interpom Primeurs 2018: The potato chain is strong, in both good times and bad times

Impression of INTERPOM | PRIMEURS 2016

INTERPOM | PRIMEURS, the indoor trade fair for the whole potato & vegetable sector in Europe, will take place from Sunday 25 to Tuesday 27 November 2018 at Kortrijk Xpo (Belgium).

The trade fair is widely acclaimed as the largest indoor potato trade fair in the world where the entire chain is represented: from growing to processing and marketing. INTERPOM PRIMEURS 2018 was already fully booked months before the start of the event and this 19th edition promises to be one of the most special editions ever.

The 2018- 2019 season has already entered the annals of the potato chain because of the extreme climatic conditions (exceptional drought) that are playing a crucial role in agriculture and horticulture in general and in potato farming in particular.

INTERPOM PRIMEURS 2018 is looking forward to welcoming an impressive 20,000 visitors from 50 countries around the world. This is the ideal place to be for anyone wanting to catch up with the latest market trends and to discover solutions for the challenges of today and tomorrow.

‘Full house’

The latest editions of INTERPOM PRIMEURS have been characterized by strong growth figures and a strong international presence. This year, every square meter of the Kortrijk Xpo exhibition complex will be taken up and the fair was already fully booked months before opening date even with an additional 500m² of floor space compared to the previous edition.

INTERPOM PRIMEURS will be showcasing a particularly comprehensive and specialized range of products, machinery and services for the entire chain: growers, contractors, processors, packers, purchasers and traders of fresh and processed potatoes and vegetables from all over Europe and also increasingly from other continents.

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Responses to Interpom Primeurs 2016 (in Dutch and French)

The previous edition clocked up a total of 19,938 visitors (+ 2%) from 49 countries around the globe and achieved a recommendation score of no less than 8.5 / 10. And the organisers expect to improve on these numbers yet again this year.

Our potato chain is strong, in good times and bad times!

Never before has it been so obvious that climate conditions play a crucial role in the agricultural and horticultural sector in general and in potato growing in particular. The exceptional drought and - even more potently - the double heatwave that characterized the summer months of 2018 have had an enormous impact on potato yields in the principal European potato growing areas. The problems already made themselves felt during the harvesting of the early potatoes and any hope that we would have a repeat of the situation we experienced in 2017 when a wet August and September brought some relief for the harvest of potatoes for storing quickly evaporated.

The consequences have made a very strong impact: many - non-irrigated - plots often had an absolutely low yield and the tubers were generally much smaller than normal this year. The media reported about 'shorter fries' and growers, the trade and the processing sector were pushed into a totally unexpected and unprecedented situation.

Reference was often made to the summer of 1976, but at that time the potato sector in Western Europe was not at all what it is today. Belgium is located right in the heart of this important growing area and would seem to be suffering the most, even though there are profound differences between the different regions and varieties. But yields are also lower in the neighbouring countries of France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

The Indian summer that we experienced in September and October may also have an impact on yields and storage. In short, this is a totally ‘hitherto unseen’ situation. If we now also discover that the Canadian potato harvest is hampered by exceptionally early snowfall, then the final climate change deniers will have no choice but to accept the reality that we are indeed facing climate change.

At times like this, communication and dialogue are extremely important. INTERPOM PRIMEURS is a unique place for players that form the various links in the chain to exchange ideas and seek out solutions for the challenges of today and tomorrow. The changing conditions in world of farming are also a catalyst for exhibitors to launch a wide range of (technological) innovations on the market with a view to spreading risk and finding solutions.

Plans for a collaborative venture within the Belgian Industry aimed at a sustainable future for the sector are also being implemented via the establishment of the Belgian Sector Organisation for Potatoes. This consultative body for the potato chain will be officially presented during the fair in the presence of the Flemish and Walloon ministers of agriculture Joke Schauvliege and René Collin (Tuesday, November 27 at 11.30 in Hall 6). The sector organization will take a close look at research and development as well as the contractual relationships within the chain.

Can you imagine a world without potatoes?

With future challenges such as climate change, food safety and development, there is one question we cannot ignore: 'Can you imagine a world without potatoes'? It is only logical therefore that this should form the central theme of this edition of INTERPOM PRIMEURS. This international campaign by the IPC (International Potato Center) in Lima Peru will be launched on Tuesday 27 November at 13.00 in Hall 6 at INTERPOM PRIMEURS.

The aim of the campaign is to generate global awareness about the importance of the potato to mankind. Visitors and exhibitors will have the opportunity to participate in this campaign as operators in the potato chain.

Walk in seminars

Working together for an innovative and sustainable future.

National and international speakers will share their knowledge, experience and vision about aspects of the potato chain during short 20-minute ‘walk-in' presentations.

Visitors to the fair will be able to join in free of charge without having to register in advance. This is the ideal place to get a glimpse of the future through the vision and experience of experts from the industry.

The following themes will be discussed and the moderator for the sessions will be Dr. Ir. Jacques Van Outryve

  • Alternative sprout suppressors for CIPC (in Dutch and French)
    Kürt Demeulemeester, PCA / INAGRO

  • Towards a reasoned and knowledge-driven approach to Alternaria Spp. in potato growing (in Dutch and French)
    Pieter Vanhaverbeke & Kurt Cornelissen, PCA

  • Quality of seed stocks (in Dutch and French)
    Johan Van Vaerenbergh, ILVO

  • Approach to drought (in Dutch)
    Bart Debussche, sector advisor – Flemish Government, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries

  • The influence of the type of oil/fat on fatty acid composition of consumed fries (in Dutch and English)
    Prof. dr. ir. Bruno De Meulenaer - Department of Food Technology, Safety and Health Faculty of Bioscience Engineering – University of Ghent

  • Brexit and the impact on the potato trade (in English)
    Cedric Porter - Editor World Potato Markets & Brexit food & Farming

  • WatchitGrow, digitalisation in favour of the whole potato sector (in Dutch and English)
    Jürgen Decloedt, Business Development Manager – VITO

  • Smart Farming in potato growing: hyperspectral image processing from a drone (in Dutch)
    Ruben Van De Vijver, researcher - ILVO

  • International import & export of Belgian potato products (in English)
    Cedric Porter - Editor World Potato Markets & Brexit food & Farming

  • The CRIPR technique (in Dutch)
    René Custers, VIB

  • Launch of the Belgian Sector Organisation for Potatoes (in Dutch and French)
    Speakers: representatives of Agrofront, Belgapom and the Flemish and Walloon ministers of agricultureJoke Schauvliege and René Collin

  • Kick-off international campaign ‘Can you imagine a world without potatoes’? (in English)
    CIP (International Potato Center) Lima Peru.

  • From potato to chuño, a tasteful case history from the heights, together with Trias & Partners (in Dutch)
    Jacques van Outryve, Trias Ambassadeur & agricultural journalist, TRIAS & PARTNERS
Details of the Walk in Seminars

Looking ahead to the end of the current season and the starters’ orders for the new season

From its base at Kortrijk (Xpo), the Interpom Primerus trade fair takes place in the heart of a dynamic and growing potato & vegetable market sector.

Even though the talk in and around the stands will concentrate on the current market situation and how things have gone during the latest season, INTERPOM PRIMEURS is traditionally a special occasion that marks the start of the new season and where national and international colleagues and suppliers make contact or strengthen existing bonds and where valuable information is exchanged. And that is certainly something to look forward to!

INTERPOM PRIMEURS is an initiative of Belgapom, the well-known association for the Belgian potato trade and processing industry. The practical organisation of the fair is handled by Kortrijk Xpo