Following the first board meeting of GB Potatoes (GBP) led by inaugural Chair Mark Taylor, the group has called on the industry to come together to tackle a range of challenges faced by growers.
“GBP has the opportunity to raise political awareness in a way no other existing body can do today,” commented Mark. “We must make the voice of the potato sector heard. We are not just facing a ‘single issue’ but an increasingly long list of pressures and impacts that potentially will change UK potato production forever. We need to act as a collective group now!
“There is a need for a voice within the potato industry to represent all areas. GB Potatoes aims to become that voice and to act as a hub to facilitate communication, provide a platform for members to work in partnership and to defend the reputation of the industry. To do this, we need growers and other industry partners to sign up now.
“Waiting to see how it goes will not work, as without the membership it cannot exist. It is a chicken and egg situation where in order to achieve our aims we need to have sufficient membership; without that membership we cannot achieve anything.”
GBP also attended the Lincolnshire Farming Conference, where board member and potato grower Alex Godfrey commented, “I think it’s vital that the Great British potato industry has a strong champion to speak up for it when it’s in difficulty and facilitate speedy and effective action when things are going well.
“By having a lean, efficient organisation such as GB Potatoes, we can fulfil this brief. It can be ready to spring into action in response to issues, and work in the longer term to help like-minded businesses collaborate for mutual benefit. That’s why I’ve been prepared to devote my own time and effort in seeing it succeed, and why I hope others will back it with their membership.”