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CEO National Potato Council: Expectations, implications, and hopes for the US potato industry

With the inauguration of President Biden a week behind us now, the new administration is settling in and gearing up to tackle the issues ahead of them. There has been a lot of speculation on what might be expected from this new administration for the produce industry as a whole. Kam Quarles, CEO of the National Potato Council, discussed the expectations, implications, and hopes for the potato industry for the next four years with FreshPlaza’s Annika Durinck.

One of the most important issues for US agriculture in general, but also for the potato industry specifically, is trade. About 20% of potatoes in the US have to find customers in international markets, so trade is a top priority for us, Quarles said. In terms of this new administration, we see the return of Tom Vilsack as the Secretary of Agriculture as a real positive. Vilsack is very familiar with the trade challenges of the agriculture industry, and specifically dealt with potato trade issues when he was in this position under the Obama administration, he added.

The composition of the new Farm Bill will also be a major issue in the near future.Environmental regulations are also key to the industry. Overregulation is a concern and our main hope is that any regulations that are put on place are based on science, rather than popular opinion.

In addition to this there is the issue of agricultural labor reform. We have to make sure we get this right because it will be key in determining the vibrancy and competitiveness of the US agriculture industry,Quarles said.

Source: FreshPlaza. Read the full article here

Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher of Potato News Today

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