Last Thursday, potato producer associations ASONAL, ASOCIAFRUIT, CIPP and ASOPOCYL; Agrofood Cooperatives; distribution associations ACES and ASEDAS; the Eroski group and potato trading companies Torribas and Pepsur Marketing SLU, formed the Spanish Potato Forum. The goals of this institution are to serve as meeting point for all members of the value chain and to agree upon initiatives contributing to the sustainability in production and all economic activities linked to the potato sector.
During the constitutive assembly, Roberto Ruiz de Infante, president of FEPEX's Potato Committee, was elected as president of the Forum, and Aitor Ruiz Lacasa, of Eroski, as vice-president. The secretarial function will be carried out by FEPEX.
The Spanish Potato Forum adheres to the general goal of promoting the growing of this tuber in our country, which will require, among other initiatives, to issue proposals regarding both commercial and agricultural policies.
The evolution of the potato sector in Spain has been negative in terms of acreage and production volumes, going from 257,000 hectares in 1992 to 73,700 in 2012, and from 5.1 million tonnes to 2.1 million during the same period. These are the most negative data for any producer within the EU, as most maintain their production volumes or even increase them.
Another goal for the Forum is to promote consumption. In Spain, fresh potato consumption volumes up to July 2013 stood at 639 million kilos; 1.1% more than in the same period of 2012, and the expenditure reached 523 million Euro; 42% more than in the previous year.
The per capita consumption in Spain during 2013, taking the latest data from July 2013 into consideration, is of 23.2 kilos per person and year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.
During the entire year 2012, fresh potato consumption volumes reached 1,066 million kilos; 3% more than in 2011.