The content of this blog is the foreword from the Editorial Director published in PotatoWorld magazine 2021/01.An important production factor that continues to pose challenges to potato growers is the soil. It is hoped that the PotatoEurope trade fair to be held at the WUR Experimental farm in Lelystad will offer new insights. Results of long-term trials such as the Farm of the Future will be shared with visitors during the international potato event, says business manager Chris de Visser. After 18 months without physical trade fairs, PotatoEurope is the first event where the international potato sector will meet again. Given the large number of registrations, many companies are trusting that vaccination will move fast enough to make this happen. If this succeeds, hopefully the stadiums at the European Football Championships and the Olympic Games will also be full of hungry supporters again, restarting the French fry market. This is sorely needed to give the potato chain a new financial boost.
Despite, or perhaps because of the global corona crisis, the potato sector is continuing to innovate. During the recently held Variety Show, many companies showed flexibility in sharing information. In doing so, some opted for a digital presentation while others chose to open their doors for a personal corona proof meeting or a combination of both. As the editorial team, we naturally watched and recorded the latest developments in breeding, either live or via the screen. One of the comments that struck me is that McDonald’s indicated during the HZPC congress that there’s a strong need for one variety that can be grown and processed worldwide. According to the fast food chain, this fits into their vision of creating the experience in restaurants that all fries look and taste the same all over the world. That, of course, is easy to say for a buyer who ‘only’ fries the chips. In fact, the actual route to achieving this is much more complicated. That’s where the chain parties need to deal with pests, diseases, rain and climate change. And that’s precisely what provides opportunities for new varieties. I think that this development will never stop. After all, there’s always room for improvement.
Jaap Delleman (Editorial Director of PotatoWorld magazine)
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