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Kilkenny company brings sweet potatoes to the world

Ireland: European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development visits Beotanics

Beotanics is an Irish company which supplies seeds and roots for niche food products worldwide. It will be investing €1 million in a new research and development centre at its headquarters in Stoneyford, Co. Kilkenny.

Owned by Pat Fitzgerald, Beotanics is a spin-out from Pat’s business originally set up in 1990 and it has led the way in Europe in the development of niche crops – such as sweet potato, yacon and wasabi. It has also been investing in sweet potato research since 2006. And since Beotanics invested in sweet potato production, consumption of the crop has grown more than tenfold.

Million Euro Investment
The €1 million investment will allow Beotanics to work on a further series of crops by applying traditional breeding techniques and leveraging international breeder collaborations – which have been a key part of the company’s success to date. At present, Beotanics employs 43 people.

European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan, visited Beotanics on April 24, to meet with Pat and Nóírín Fitzgerald. Hogan commented: “Beotanics is now a key Irish player on the international stage in discovering new ways to feed the planet, improve human health, balance resources, enhance biodiversity and reduce the environmental impact of crop production. It is a true example of a firm which is acting local and thinking global and, by doing so, providing locally innovative, viable and sustainable rural development alternatives. It is growing the Irish rural economy on the strength of Irish environmental factors.”

He added: “Their work showcases Ireland and Europe as a leading global innovator in producing crops in a natural, transparent and fair way to enhance taste, appearance and nutritional value.”


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