Europe has unveiled a €3.2 million initiative, named “Potatoes Forever!“, aimed at educating the public about sustainable practices within the fresh potato industry. The campaign, set to span three years, will primarily target France and Italy.
Potatoes, a staple in European diets, have long been cultivated with an emphasis on sustainability. Professionals in the sector have consistently worked to ensure that these tubers are not only delicious but also produced with minimal environmental impact. This includes efforts to protect biodiversity, conserve water, and employ crop rotation techniques that preserve soil health.
However, many of these commendable practices often go unnoticed by consumers. The “Potatoes Forever!” campaign seeks to bridge this knowledge gap. Funded 80% by the European Union, the initiative aims to spotlight these sustainable methods and inform European consumers about the dedication and commitment behind their favorite spud.
The campaign underscores the potato’s versatility, nutritional value, and year-round availability. As consumers become increasingly discerning about the origin and production methods of their food, there’s a growing demand for transparency. This initiative responds to that demand, shedding light on the sustainable practices that have been integral to the potato sector for years.
Spearheaded by potato organizations in France and Italy
In France, the campaign is spearheaded by the Comité National Interprofessionnel de la Pomme de Terre (CNIPT), a national organization representing potato professionals. Meanwhile, in Italy, the Unione Nazionale tra le Associazioni dei Produttori di Patate (UNAPA), the union of potato producer associations, takes the lead.
A recent survey conducted in preparation for the campaign revealed interesting insights about French and Italian consumers’ knowledge and perceptions of sustainable potato production. The majority were aware that potatoes are available year-round and that most potatoes sold in their respective countries are locally produced. However, there was a clear desire to learn more about the sector’s environmental commitments.
The campaign’s overarching goal is to ensure that from farm to table, every step in the potato’s journey prioritizes quality and sustainability. This includes eco-friendly farming, packaging, and distribution. The “Potatoes Forever!” initiative will focus on six key areas: biodiversity protection, soil and water conservation, waste reduction, climate change mitigation, quality assurance, and professional support.
Communicating with potato consumers
Florence Rossillion, Director of the CNIPT, expressed her enthusiasm for the campaign, emphasizing the importance of transparent dialogue between professionals and consumers. Fausto Bosca, Director of the UNAPA, echoed this sentiment, highlighting the sector’s ongoing commitment to sustainable practices and the importance of consumer awareness.
The campaign will employ various communication strategies, including press relations, media partnerships, social media coordination, and events. Notably, there will be dedicated sections at the 2024 and 2025 Paris International Agricultural Shows and special events at retail outlets in Italy.
For more information and updates on the campaign, everyone interested is encouraged to visit the official website: potatoesforever.eu.
The “Potatoes Forever!” campaign is a testament to Europe’s commitment to sustainability and its dedication to fostering a more informed consumer base. As the campaign’s name suggests, the hope is that the love for potatoes, and the sustainable practices behind them, will indeed last forever.
Source: CNIPT and UNAPA
Cover photo: Potatoes Forever! website