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Upbeat Mood at the National Potato Conference

There was a strong attendance at the National Potato Conference held yesterday in the Red Cow Hotel, Dublin. Attendees heard about current positive trends in consumption and were presented with a review of the very successful potato promotion campaign featuring “Bud the Spud” with the logo “more than a bit on the side”

Speaking at the conference Minister of State, Andrew Doyle T.D., outlined how the current potato promotion campaign “has been pivotal in reversing the decline in potato consumption.”  The Minister also encouraged the industry to invest and build on this success by applying for a further EU:Industry co-funded potato promotion campaign.

Minister Doyle also praised the “progress that has been made in terms of diversification and import substitution through the salad potato research programme.” Citing the potential for further import substitution and the risks posed by Brexit the Minister said he also very much welcomed the initial moves that have been made regarding developing Irish production for the fresh chip trade. 

Notes for Editors:

  • Over a prolonged period there was a steady decline in Irish household potato purchases.  This was due to combination of factors including changing lifestyle trends as well a perception that potatoes were fattening and inconvenient.  This has been reversed by the current potato promotion campaign “More than a bit on the side”.  That promotion was run jointly by Ireland and the UK and was co-funded by the European Commission, Industry and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.  See for campaign material.
  • Based on Kantar data Irish household fresh potato purchases have moved from 175,000 tonnes per annum in 2015 when the promotion campaign started to a situation where the market has now stabilised at around 210,000 tonnes per annum. 
  • The promotion campaign is due to conclude in July and Bord Bia are actively exploring options for a further campaign to build on its success and avail of further EU funding opportunities into the future.
  • Close attention to detail in particular regarding irrigation is critical to achieving a saleable salad potato crop.  If done correctly salad potatoes can spread workload on-farm (harvest between early and main-crop potatoes) and will allow greater efficiencies while also producing a high value crop.
  • Research at Teagasc Oak Park has allowed Teagasc develop the capacity to advise on agronomy for salad potatoes under Irish growing conditions.  In response a number of growers who have now commenced growing salad potatoes substituting imports.
  • Each year significant volumes of potatoes are imported into Ireland especially from the UK for the fresh chipping trade. A significant proportion of these potatoes could be grown in Ireland but the crop would require specific agronomy in terms of variety selection, husbandry and especially storage to produce a potato that will give the desired characteristics when fried. 
  • Some preliminary research on market opportunities on the fresh chip side has been recently completed by Bord Bia. Investment in appropriate storage facilities to condition the crop and allow long-term storage will be critical to development of this aspect of the sector.



Press and Information Office

An Roinn Talamhaíochta, Bia agus Mara

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

An Teach Talmhaíochta, Sráid Chill Dara, Baile Átha Cliath 2, D02 WK12

Agriculture House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2, D02 WK12

T +353 (0)1 607 2802


Date Released: 21 February 2018