I am part of a group of fifteen young people on the first AHDB Potatoes Next Generation programme. There are nine days on the course aiming to give us exposure to the whole supply chain and a wide range of people taking part including growers, processors and packers from a variety of different backgrounds.
May was the introduction to the course and the different AHDB Potatoes teams at their offices in Stoneleigh.
The day began with discussions on challenges to the potato industry, be it seed, production, storage, market volatility or consumption. We heard from several people within the AHDB on areas such as their vision to help the industry grow and be more sustainable, the ways they are promoting and protecting potatoes and the various schemes and initiatives such as grow your own, cook your own and one voice.
The group also discussed the need to make potatoes relevant and accessible after hearing about the changes in the population, consumption and eating habits.
On this session we also heard from Graham Finn at McCain foods who spoke about key issues such as the need to produce more food in the next forty years than in the last 8000 and Phil Bradshaw who explained the importance of benchmarking to understand costs, compare and diagnose strengths and weaknesses.