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World Potato Congress announces Romain Cools as new President and CEO

World Potato Congress Inc. announces Mr. Romain Cools as new President and CEO, as David Thompson steps down from this position. After 17 years on the World Potato Congress Board of Directors, 12 as vice-president and the last five years as president, David Thompson has decided that it was time for a change. He is pleased to announce that effective January 1, 2018 he is stepping down as President and CEO of the World Potato Congress (WPC) Inc., however he will remain on the board of directors. David Thompson says: “Romain Cools has been involved with the Board of Directors since 2006 and for the past three years, he has served as Vice President of the World Potato Congress Inc.  Mr. Cools resides in Lokeren, Belgium and is the first European President of the WPC Inc. Mr. Cools brings with him 26 years of knowledge of the potato industry and has demonstrated a strong commitment to the advancement and sustainability of the potato in the global environment. “

Romain: “The WPC is an NGO. We organise a congress every three years. Our goal is to become the most important global network organisation within the potato sector. We want to bring governments, businesses, the teaching sector and other organisations into contact with one another and, so, strengthen the sector worldwide. In May 2018, the next Congress will be held in Cuzco, Peru. This Congress must be excellent and has absolute priority. Our enthusiasm and the fact that we can bring people together make up for our organisation’s limited resources. It is also of the utmost importance that our organisation is utterly transparent in its business operations. This is crucial for our credibility.”

Cools is currently the Secretary General of Belgapom, the Union of Belgian Potato Trade and Processing Industry. He is the co-founder of the Belgian Food and Plant Safety and Sustainability scheme “Vegaplan”. He is also a Board Member of the Belgian Food Industry Association and Chaiman of the UNIZO Agro-food platform. The WPC Inc. is a non-profit organization established to bring together global potato industry leaders at triennial congresses, with the objective of creating networking, increased trade and business development opportunities. The 10th triennial World Potato Congress is being held from May 27-31 in Cusco, Peru.

Effective Dec. 1, 2017, Brian Douglas of Charlottetown, P.E.I. became the new general manager of the World Potato Congress Inc. Douglas replaced John Coady, who has served as general manager for the past 10 years.

Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse

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