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Leadership change at the UK Potato Processors Association: John Sedgwick takes helm as Chair

In a significant development for the UK potato industry, John Sedgwick, the UK Potato Supply Manager at Lamb Weston, has been officially named the new Board Chair of the UK Potato Processors’ Association (PPA). Sedgwick, who brings a wealth of experience in grower-focused and agronomy-centred roles across a variety of fresh vegetables, frozen, and dehydrated potato products, succeeds Dan Hewitt, formerly of Valeo Snackfoods.

John Sedgwick’s appointment comes at a crucial time for the potato processing sector, which faces numerous challenges. Sedgwick expressed his enthusiasm for his new role, stating, “It is a privilege for me to take on the role of Chair for the PPA. The sector has seen many challenges emerge in recent years, and I hope to be able to continue to help drive the association, and the sector as a whole, toward its full potential.”

Under Sedgwick’s leadership, the PPA aims to elevate the profile of the association and showcase the myriad benefits that membership offers to the potato industry. This initiative is particularly important as the industry navigates through significant challenges, including supply chain issues, economic pressures, and evolving market demands.

Endorsement

PPA’s Director General Andrew Curtis said: “I am delighted to welcome John to the role of Chair.  John is widely known and respected within the UK potato sector and I look forward to the energy and experience that he will undoubtedly bring to the role.

“Growers and processors in the UK have faced many challenges over the past few years. These include on storage, agricultural water shortages and flooding, access to land, seeds and to labour, increased costs, as well as access to actives and fertilisers.

“These challenges aren’t going away and it’s good to know that John is keen to help represent the sector and to raise the profile of the Association”.

About the UK Potato Processors’ Association (PPA)

Image credit: PPA

The PPA is the premier trade association for UK manufacturers of frozen chips and potato products, potato crisps, potato-based snack products, and dehydrated potatoes.

It encompasses the Frozen and Chilled Potato Processors’ Association (FCPPA) and the Snack, Nut, and Crisp Manufacturers’ Association (SNACMA).

PPA members are the largest consumers of UK potatoes, purchasing approximately 1.47 million tonnes annually, which constitutes about 94% of all potatoes processed into frozen chips and potato products, potato crisps, and snacks within the UK.

Economic Impact and Employment

The potato processing sector is a significant contributor to the UK’s economy, employing over 13,000 people directly and supporting numerous additional jobs in the farming sector and related industries. The sector’s economic impact is profound, with the value of the UK processed and prepared potatoes market estimated at over £2.7 billion, excluding the food service industry. Additionally, the sliced potato crisps market was valued at £1.47 billion in 2022, and the entire savoury snacks sector, which includes cereal, nut, popcorn, and meat-based snacks, had a combined retail value of £4.05 billion in 2023.

Looking Ahead

As John Sedgwick steps into his new role, the PPA looks forward to a future where the potato processing industry continues to thrive despite the challenges it faces. Sedgwick’s vision for the association includes strengthening the connection between growers and processors, advocating for the sector’s interests, and promoting sustainable practices.

For further information and updates, stay tuned to the PPA’s announcements and initiatives as they navigate the dynamic landscape of the UK potato industry.

Source: UK Potato Processors’ Association (PPA)
Cover image: John Sedgwick. Credit and courtesy PPA
Contact:
Andrew Curtis,
Director General, UK Potato Processors’ Association Ltd
Scientific and Regulatory Affairs Manager, European Snacks Association
andrew@snacma.org.uk

Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse


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