Changing consumer tastes and a greater focus on `healthy' food has had an impact on the western world's eating habits.
Implications for the potato industry will be explored at the upcoming World Potato Congress to be held in New Zealand in March.
Lauraine Jacobs, world renown food writer and editor of Cuisine magazine, will address the Congress on changing consumer tastes and what this means for the potato.
Terry Olsen, grower and the Chair of the 7th World Potato Congress Organizing Committee, says Jacobs will provide an important perspective to the Congress-what the consumer thinks.
"Consumer tastes are constantly changing, and for a sector like ours, it's vital we understand what consumers think and feel about our product.
"Lauraine knows the consumer inside out. Expect her to pick trends and issues that we need to prepare for if we are to grow potato consumption."
The Congress, to be held in New Zealand March 22-25, is being hosted by Potatoes New Zealand, the organization representing the country's 300 potato growers.
With the theme "Nourishing Our Future," the Congress will review the latest world developments in crop management, environment and energy issues, food and non-food processing, consumer trends and food safety and quality.
It's an opportunity for growers, processors, seed producers and researchers/scientists to discuss issues, learn about advancements in the sector and to network.
A range of add-on tours and a partners' itinerary are also available.
For a conference program or to register, visit www.wpcnz.org.nz.
ON THE AGENDA
Understanding Value Chains
Martin Kneebone, Freshlogic.com and Dr Andrew Fearne, Centre for Supply Chain Research, Kent Business School, UK
Food Safety and Quality Assurance
Dr. Kristian Moeller, managing director, GLOBALGAP and Nadene Smith, business manager QA, Woolworths Supermarkets, Australia
Impact of Climate Change
Dr. Jim Salinger, international climate change expert and principal scientist at New Zealand's National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research
Potatoes for Biofuel?
Dr. William Bailey, agriculture department chair, United States
"The World Potato Congress Inc. is dedicated to supporting the global growth and development of the potato."
Our vision for the World Potato Congress Inc. is to become a premier networking organization, which has global reach and creates meaning for its membership by creating links of communication and information sharing throughout the world potato community.
World Potato Congress is a non-profit organization supported by a group of volunteer directors representing potato jurisdictions around the world.
PAST HOST CITIES
Charlottetown, Canada, 1993
Harrogate, United Kingdom, 1994
Durban, South Africa, 1997
Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2000
Kunming, China, 2004
Boise, USA, 2006