30 January 2015 | Online since 2003



21 February 2014|News

Potatoes: An important crop for GB


Potato Council acts as a knowledge house for Government raising the importance of the potato. Two years since this work programme started there has been a real increase in knowledge about potatoes amongst parliamentarians with 83% now regarding potatoes as an important crop.

In that time, there has been a 19 percentage point increase in those who know that potatoes are naturally fat free (equating to one in five MPs) and a 16 percentage point increase in those who now recognise that they are a low impact crop (one in six MPs).

Caroline Evans, head of marketing and corporate affairs at Potato Council, commented: “The potato industry contributes more than £4.7bn to the GB economy, including £209m in exports, and employs over 16,000 people. It is key that we build knowledge about this amongst parliamentarians so that they recognise the value of the industry to the country and consider this when making decisions.”

“With healthy and sustainable credentials, potatoes have a strong story to tell. These latest results show that the programme is building awareness amongst parliamentarians about the industry and the importance of potatoes to our country. In the last year alone we’ve met with 34 parliamentarians in Westminster or in their constituencies, as well as sending briefings out on a range of topics.”

We recently published a report summarising the findings from a parliamentary roundtable examining the role of potatoes in a healthy and sustainable diet. Organised by Potato Council and chaired by the Rt Hon Sir Jim Paice MP, the roundtable reviewed new research by Cranfield University comparing water usage and Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHGE) of potatoes, rice and pasta.

Dr Tim Hess presented key findings from the Cranfield research, which show that rice typically has a larger water footprint and greater GHGE than potatoes or pasta.

Maureen Strong, nutrition manager, Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) and co-chair of the Healthy and Sustainable Diet Working Group of the Green Food Project¹ highlighted the key findings of the Green Food Project. She explained that one of the eight key principles of a healthy and sustainable diet was to eat more plant-based foods, including at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. She also said that consumption of starchy carbohydrates is currently below government guidance.

The roundtable was well attended by parliamentarians including Huw Irranca-Davies MP, Shadow Minister for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Baroness Parminter, Co-Chair of DEFRA/DECC Parliamentary Party Committee. They were joined by nutritionists, retailers, academics and representatives of the potato industry.

A number of key recommendations were made and it was agreed that government and industry have a joint responsibility to promote potatoes as a healthy and sustainable food. It was also tabled that Public Health England (PHE) should build on the success of the ‘5 a day’ campaign and develop simple, clear campaigns targeting consumers which include potatoes.

Caroline said: ““The roundtable was an opportunity to show that potatoes are an important contributor, both to the environment and also to public health, and to engage a range of experts in discussion about how to increase consumption. It will provide a platform to present the evidence on the value of the potato industry to the economy, the health agenda and climate change targets. The findings in the report will be shared with parliamentarians and other stakeholders.”

Download



Comments


No comments posted yet. Be the first to post a comment

To post comment without approval login or register

Display name

Please enter your name

Email (optional)
Comment

Please enter your comment

Post Comment

Your comment submitted successfully.Please wait for admin approval.

Some error on your process.Please try one more time.



Jobs


13 January 2015
Smoked Seafood Apprentice
The apprentice will join a small start-up company specialising in smoked seafood. He or she will work alongside one of the co...

14 January 2015
IT Service Delivery Apprenticeship
You can come to us for apprenticeship training in a wide range of occupations including– Agriculture, Apparel, Arboriculture,...

9 January 2015
Care Assistant
Beacon Farm Care Home. Beacon Farm Lodge Care Home is an integral part of Cramlington. Beacon Farm Care Home is a 43 bed care...

19 January 2015
Non-contentious Agricultural Lawyer
The role will also involve occasional travel to Exeter to work alongside the company’s agriculture team. Our client currently...

14 January 2015
TOOLMAKER
Understanding of press tool process, ideally with the automotive sector (may also consider experience in Aerospace, Agricultu...




Top stories you may have missed
12 November 2014 | Arable
GM crops 'good for farmers and the envir...

GM crops 'good for farmers and the envir...

GM crops are good for the economy and can reduce the amount of pesticides u...


6 November 2014 | Cattle
Smaller European markets drive beef expo...

Smaller European markets drive beef expo...

Demand from smaller European markets has helped drive strong growth for UK ...


6 November 2014 | Agri Safety
Lack of engineers a 'ticking time bomb' ...

Lack of engineers a 'ticking time bomb' ...

A lack of engineers, not enough people promoting the land-based industries ...


4 November 2014 | Bees and Beekeeping
Bee action plan due: Last chance for bee...

Bee action plan due: Last chance for bee...

Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss is launching the National Pollinator ...


4 November 2014 | Arable
Experts welcome financial boost for youn...

Experts welcome financial boost for youn...

Agricultural specialists have welcomed a potential financial boost for youn...


3 November 2014 | News
Supermarket competition on prices 'risks...

Supermarket competition on prices 'risks...

As retailers continue to participate in a highly competitive race to the bo...


31 October 2014 | Arable
New Defra farm figures 'underline volati...

New Defra farm figures 'underline volati...

New farm business income data from Defra, which focus on income from March ...


30 October 2014 | Agri Safety
Agriculture remains one of UK's most dan...

Agriculture remains one of UK's most dan...

Agriculture has remained one of the industries in which workers are most li...


29 October 2014 | Finance
UK farmland prices see 'substantial grow...

UK farmland prices see 'substantial grow...

Prime arable land in the UK has seen a substantial year-on-year growth in p...


27 October 2014 | Arable
Satellites to help farmers pinpoint dise...

Satellites to help farmers pinpoint dise...

A new mobile app for farmers able to pinpoint and identify disease, pests a...