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Sarah Taleb, CNIPT

First International Potato Day

The third most consumed produce in the world (source: FAO) celebrated its first international day on May 30th, 2024. In France, the potato sector gathered at the Ministry of Agriculture. At the same time, communication campaigns were organized by CNIPT throughout the country. Sarah Taleb, in charge of PR and events at CNIPT, looks back on the event.

France is Europe's second-largest potato producer, with over 6.8 million tons (including 65,000 tons of organic potatoes and 130,000 tons of early potatoes) and more than 350 varieties produced in 2023. The Hauts-de-France region accounts for two-thirds of the national production. France is also the world's leading exporter, with over 3 million tons shipped abroad every year.

Nearly 250 people at the Ministry of Agriculture
To inaugurate this first international day, CNIPT organized a festive cocktail lunch at the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Sovereignty on May 30th. Minister and minister delegate Marc Fesneau and Agn├Ęs Panier-Runacher "each stressed the importance of French potato production for the country's food sovereignty."

Joanny Dussurgey, new president of CNIPT.

Nearly 250 people gathered for the occasion, including professionals of the sector (growers, traders, manufacturers, packers, early harvesters and supermarket representatives), representatives of embassies in partnership with SEMAE (the seed and plant interprofessional organization), and notably Spain, Italy, Belgium, Egypt, Mali, Senegal and Jordan. International representation for an international culture. "We are convinced that a synergy is needed between all countries to promote the benefits of potatoes."

Actions organized throughout France
At the initiative of CNIPT, a complete communication kit (logos, packaging stickers, shelf-stoppers and posters) was made available to professionals for in-store communication, "an opportunity to (re)discover the many ways of cooking potatoes." Some producers even opened their doors to the public, and the event received coverage from national press and TV channels such as M6, TF1 and RTL. But CNIPT also focused part of its communications operation on the younger generation, the consumers of tomorrow, by buying inserts in children's magazines to explain the nutritional benefits of potatoes.

According to Sarah Taleb, this first "test year will serve above all as a springboard for future editions. It was a big first event so we experimented with some things that will serve us well for next year."

Why a day dedicated to potatoes?
Native to South America, the potato, "flower of the ancient Inca civilization", was the mainstay of the Peruvian people. Introduced to Europe in the 16th century, the potato played a crucial role in the growth of cities and the industrial revolution. Cultivated today in 159 countries, the potato offers numerous nutritional benefits and the ability to grow in a variety of environments. "The FAO now considers the potato to be easy to produce, consuming few resources and offering considerable nutritional benefits. China is even considering replacing rice with potato crops, which consume less water and have a higher yield," explains Sarah Taleb. This balance between nutrition and resource conservation has prompted the UN, at the request of the FAO and at the instigation of the CIP (International Potato Center), to proclaim an International Potato Day.

For more information:
CNIPT
Phone: 01 44 69 42 17
[email protected]

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