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Europatat Activity Report 2023-2024 highlights unprecedented challenges and key achievements in the potato sector

The Europatat Activity Report 2023 – 2024 has been released, shedding light on the significant activities, achievements, and challenges faced by the European potato trade sector over the past year. The report highlights the association’s strategic initiatives, policy engagements, and collaborative efforts amidst a backdrop of market volatility and regulatory changes.

Unprecedented Market Conditions and Resilience

In the President’s Foreword, Tigran Richter, President of Europatat, emphasizes the demanding nature of the 2022-2023 season and the heightened challenges of 2023-2024. The potato market experienced unparalleled turbulence due to new legal frameworks, international conflicts, and environmental factors. Despite these adversities, Europatat members demonstrated remarkable resilience and adaptability, navigating the complexities of an unbalanced market.

Strategic Collaborations and Advocacy

Europatat’s role as a unifying voice for the potato trade sector has been pivotal. The association strengthened its ties with key organizations such as Euroseeds, EUPPA, and the European Snacks Association, promoting collaboration within the European Potato Value Chain. Europatat’s proactive stance on policy issues, including the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), Plant Reproductive Material (PRM) legislation, and sustainability initiatives, has been instrumental in shaping the regulatory landscape.

Promotion of Fresh Potatoes and Nutritional Value

Recognizing the importance of promoting fresh potatoes, Europatat continued its efforts to highlight the nutritional benefits of potatoes and their role in a sustainable diet. The successful extension of the “Potatoes, prepare to be surprised – Europe’s favourite since 1536” campaign aims to boost potato consumption among millennials in Belgium, France, and Ireland until December 2025. The campaign integrates innovative recipes, nutritional facts, and collaborations with influencers to rejuvenate the image of potatoes.

Sustainability and Research Initiatives

Credit Bernal Revert/ BR&U

Europatat has been at the forefront of sustainability and innovation within the potato sector. The newly established Sustainability Commission focuses on aligning potato trade practices with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The commission’s efforts culminated in the creation of the “Sustainability Indicators – An inspirational checklist for Europatat members,” unveiled at the Europatat Congress in May 2024.

In the realm of research, the ADAPT project, funded by the EU, has made significant strides in understanding potato stress resilience under climatic challenges. The project’s findings will be presented at the Europatat Congress, underscoring the sector’s commitment to innovation and sustainability.

Food Safety and Plant Health

The report also addresses critical issues related to food safety and plant health. Europatat’s engagement with the European Commission on the Sustainable Use of Plant Protection Products (SUR) and glycoalkaloid monitoring reflects the association’s dedication to ensuring safe and sustainable potato production. The increasing threat of wireworms and late blight, exacerbated by climate change, has prompted Europatat to collaborate with stakeholders and policymakers to develop effective mitigation strategies.

Trade and Market Access

Europatat’s advocacy for fair trade practices and market access has been crucial in navigating the challenges posed by Brexit and adverse weather conditions. The association’s efforts to facilitate trade with key partners, including Egypt and the UK, highlight its commitment to maintaining robust international trade relationships.

Looking Ahead

As Europatat prepares for its 2024 Congress in Brussels, the association is poised to address the future of the potato trade sector amidst ongoing environmental, economic, and social challenges. The Congress will serve as a platform for discussing the necessary transitions to ensure the sector’s continued success and sustainability.

For more detailed insights and the complete overview of Europatat’s activities, the full Europatat Activity Report 2023 – 2024 can be viewed here.

Contact: Europatat Secretariat
Rue des Deux Églises 26,
1000 Brussels, Belgium

Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse

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