Newly launched trade body aims to ‘bring the industry together’ through representation from all sectors – Potato News Today


A brand new industry body, GB Potatoes Ltd, was launched last week. GB Potatoes has announced its intention to unite the UK potato industry and work with existing agricultural produce trade associations to represent the interests and future development of the potato sector following the shutdown of the AHDB Potatoes.

GB Potatoes says in a statement that it will focus on growing UK potatoes but, above all, that it will maintain close links with the horticulture sector.

“Our approach brings industry stakeholders together through a voluntary subscription on a membership basis.

“This proposal has been developed by a group of potato industry stakeholders (GB Potatoes Working Group) interested in exploring the possibility of cross-industry collaboration after the AHDB. Collectively, the potato industry respects the outcome of the AHDB ratepayer vote, but cannot afford to ‘stare into the void’ and recognizes the need for a new independent industry body, to represent its interests and future development.

“The ratepayer vote demonstrated that the AHDB has lost industry ‘consensus’ to lead and manage an industry body. The group needs DEFRA to acknowledge these failings and commit to backing an acceptable alternative (not a new AHDB) that reflects the whole UK potato supply chain. We need a less bureaucratic, more inclusive and better funded successor who wins engagement across the industry and determines what future priority structures and activities are needed.

“We sought the views and opinions of as many stakeholders as possible from across Britain to gain support and define, “what should come next?”.

“Our vision brings together all aspects of the UK potato supply chain – growers, packers, processors, seed supply, research organisations, independent advisers, trade associations and service providers etc. to contribute and benefit “willing cross-sector collaboration. The group proposes an ‘overarching’ structure that ensures true representation of all sectors with good governance and accountability. We propose that a cross-sector ‘governing body’ oversee this.”

GB Potatoes says it is keen to engage with and embrace all organizations working to benefit the sector.

“We are NOT reinventing the AHDB, but we believe there is a mutual interest in fundamental research and the protection of our industry. GB Potatoes must demonstrate its value and continue to improve its performance and remain competitive. Action must be taken now – and that is what this new organization brings. The industry needs leadership and a plan to move things forward. We believe this proposal puts that in motion.

Mark Taylor, inaugural chairman of GB Potatoes, said: “Our launch could not come at a more important time for the potato industry in Britain. Working as a collective group must be the way forward if we are to both understand and then navigate through the current turbulent times. While acknowledging the different perspectives across the industry, I strongly encourage everyone to get involved and get involved. The Great British Potato must be defended!

For more information about the organization please visit the website www.gb-potatoes.co.uk or email [email protected]

Source: UK potatoes
Related: New trade body aims to be a voice for the potato industry

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