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Minister of State Addresses the IFA/Teagasc National Potato Conference

"Potato industry must look at current and future consumer eating habits and promote the product to a far greater extent" - Shane McEntee TD

The Minister for Horticulture at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine,  Shane McEntee TD,  has attended  the IFA/Teagasc National Potato Conference.

In his address the Minister spoke of the challenging times faced by producers and the need to achieve "a balance between supply and market demand in a very open potato market".

The Minister stressed the fact that the sector had many positive factors.  He said "When I look at the potato sector I can see many positive factors at work including committed growers with wide expertise in producing a quality product".

The Minister referred to the considerable investment in the Sector, over the past decade, supported by National and EU Funds.  He said "State resources invested in research, seed certification, marketing and promotion have played and will continue to play, a vital role in the development and maintenance of a competitive Potato Sector here in Ireland".

The Minister stated that the industry "must look at the current and future consumer eating habits and promote the product to a far greater extent focusing on such issues as health, versatility and distinctness".   He emphasised the need "for the message to go out to consumers that potatoes have a lower fat content than either pasta or rice".

In conclusion the Minister emphasized the importance of the Conference for growers in making informed decisions for their own businesses and he wished growers every success for the 2012 season.


PR 37/12 National Potato Conference - 22.02.2012

L to r :  Mr Thomas Carpenter, IFA Potato Chairman; Mr John Bryan, President of the IFA; Mr Shane McEntee, TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and Professor Gerry Boyle, Director, Teagasc.

Date Released: 22 February 2012