Six Irish potato marketing companies are participating at the world’s leading trade fair for the fresh fruit and vegetable industry this week. Bord Bia, in association with the Irish Potato Federation, is organising and coordinating an Irish stand at Fruit Logisitica, which attracted 400 exhibitors, and 56,000 trade and retail visitors from 132 countries in 2011.
This will be the first time that Irish grown Rooster potatoes will be promoted at a European trade fair. Mr. Shane McEntee T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine will attend the trade fair later this week to meet with participating companies and increase the profile of this initiative.
The Irish companies participating are:
- Country Crest , Rathmooney, Lusk, Co Dublin
- Sam Dennigan & Co Palmerstown, Oldtown, Co Dublin
- Meade Potato Company Ltd, Lobinstown, Navan, Co Meath
- K&K Produce – The Ward, Dublin
- Peter Keogh & Sons, Westpalstown, Oldtown, Co Dublin
- Irish Potato Marketing (IPM), Sandyford Industrial Estate, Dublin 18.
Mike Neary, Horticulture Manager, Bord Bia welcomed the Irish potato industry’s presence at the event. “Following the successful exporting of potatoes to Eastern Europe last season of approximately 70,000 tons, the industry was keen to strengthen and build on existing market contacts and to find potential new buyers across a wide range of countries for Irish grown Rooster potatoes. We have undertaken a pre-event trade marketing and awareness campaign to promote the Irish potato industry’s presence at this high profile event including targeting over 60 key influential foreign buyers to visit the ‘Taste Ireland’ stand.”
Liam Glennon, President of the Irish Potato Federation added that, “This season has generated another high quality potato crop and a temporary surplus against a backdrop of reduced demand on the domestic market. The 2011 season saw exports play an important role in the Irish potato market. This experience has shown that there are opportunities to develop the potato export market. The strong Irish participation at Fruit Logisitica is an important step in this direction.”
It is estimated that there are 540 growers of potatoes in Ireland. Over 375,000 tonnes of potatoes were produced from 10,003 hectares in 2011. The Rooster accounts for 56% of potatoes grown, while other maincrop varieties account as follows; Kerr’s Pink (10%), Queens (8%), Golden Wonder (3%) and Records (2%). The counties with the highest percentage of area involved in potato production are Meath (27%), Dublin (16%) and Louth (15%), closely followed by Wexford (13%), Donegal (10%) and Cork (6%).The Rooster variety is the number one choice of potato for Irish consumers, being a great ‘all rounder used for boiling, baking, steaming, mashing, roasting and chipping.
Bord Bia have developed a new international trade section on www.potato.ie to support this export market initiative which will go live for the Fruit Logistica trade fair.