Historic Display of U.S. Potatoes at Chinese Trade Show

Published online: Nov 22, 2021 Articles
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Source: Potatoes USA

For the first time ever, a sample of fresh U.S. chipping potatoes arrived in China and was displayed at a tradeshow in Shanghai. This historic event, which is helping to pave the way for commercial shipments of U.S. chip-stock to China, was marked with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and speeches by U.S. government officials and representatives from Potatoes USA. This linked video gives a feel for this ceremony and the excitement around the presence of U.S. chipping potatoes in China.

The display of U.S. potatoes drew large crowds from the 127,454 visitors to the Food & Hospitality China Shanghai Global Food Trade Show. Included in those viewing and admiring the U.S. potatoes were representatives from the four major chip manufacturers in China. They all expressed interest in learning more about U.S. chipping potatoes and in testing them in their plants.

Chipping potatoes from Idaho, Oregon, and Washington were granted access to China, after 20 years of work, as part of the Phase 1 U.S.-China agreement reached in January of 2020. Since that time, Potatoes USA has been promoting U.S. chipping potatoes in China. There has been strong interest by the Chinese processors in testing U.S. potatoes; however, importing companies are still challenged by some of the requirements. The goal is that the importation of these trade show samples will provide additional incentive for these companies to try and overcome these challenges.

The path traveled by the samples was certainly not an easy one; in fact, at numerous points along the way it looked as if the potatoes would not make it to the show. But in the end, the dedication and effort by the Potatoes USA representatives in China, the U.S. grower/shipper, and many USDA officials both in the U.S. and China finally made it happen.