We need toensure longer term viability from seed, growing and end market use, concludedthe AHDB Potatoes Next Generation group during a visit to IPL Westry, inCambridgeshire recently.
This was theoutcome of a business workshop facilitated by IPLs Business Unit Director,Mark Taylor who manages ASDAs entire GB potato needs from the Westry site.
The group of fifteendebated the future requirements needed for the potato supply chain to evolve.
Our industrywould benefit from greater emphasis on shared risk, increased trust andcommunication from seed to supermarket shelves, requested the group. We needto continue to keep the consumer needs front of mind, and satisfy all partieswithin the supply chain in terms of profitability. And simultaneously utilise industry expertise andinnovation effectively.
George Putterill,one of the Next Generation delegates, is partner in his family farm in SuttonBridge, Lincolnshire which grows potatoes, wheat, barley, peas and sugar beet.
My family hasalways been involved in potato production for the chipping markets and I havealways enjoyed the variety offered when working with the crop, says George. TheAHDB Next Generation programme is proving a great opportunity to meet and learnabout the parts of the potato industry that I am not directly involved with.
The workshopsession at IPL really got me thinking about changes to the industry that wouldbenefit the whole potato supply-chain.
Lee Sharp worksfor Maincrop Potatoes, growers and suppliers of fresh and processing crops, whohave facilities in both Shropshire and Lincolnshire. The Next Generationprogramme is a fantastic opportunity for professional development as well as anopportunity to express the voice of young people within this 4.1bn industry.
The NextGeneration group will be attending BP2015 (bp2015.co.uk) in Harrogate on the 12and 13 November. It will be a great opportunity to meet this years high fliers- especially as the application process for the 2016-17Next Generation Programme has just been launched. Interested applicants areasked to prepare a short video entry for consideration. Full details are nowavailable online at potatoes.ahdb.org.uk/next-gen-application. Submissions willbe accepted from the 12 November 2015 until the deadline of the 31 January 2016,with the successful fifteen applicants announced by the end of February 2016.