On June 13th, the European potato community gathered in Oslo, Norway, for the Europatat Congress 2019. Under the slogan “The timeless potato: A dynamic and innovative food”, the annual event organised by Europatat, the European Potato Trade Association, and NFGF, the Norwegian Association of Fruit and Vegetable wholesalers, has focused on the many assets of the sector in innovation, sustainability and circular economy.
Potatonewstoday.com reports how Gilles Fontaine, President of Europatat, opened the Congress: “The Europatat Congress has become a key date for the potato sector in Europe, and this year edition in Norway shows the growing importance of cooperating in a globalised market.”
In the morning session, notable speakers such as Marianne Borgen, Mayor of Oslo, highlighted the importance of sustainability and how potatoes are a key ingredient for a green future. During his presentation, Arne Ivar Sletnes, Head of International Affairs of the Norwegian Agricultural Cooperatives, gave a Norwegian perspective of the current International trade policy. Trade must answer to current challenges such as increased world population, land and water shortage, and climate change.
Later in the morning, two case studies showcased how the Norwegian potato sector has adapted to consumer demands related with health, sustainability and convenience. Ingeborg Flones, CEO at HOFF SA, demonstrated how to be successful in pursuing a circular economy within the potato section; while Åsmund Bjertnæs, CEO of Bjertnaes & Hoel, showed how to connect with consumers and teach the next generation.
With more than 100 participants from 15 different countries, the Europatat Congress 2019 and side events have received extremely positive feedback, higlighting the high quality of the speakers and their refreshing and inspiring messages.