Ireland selected to host 2021 World Potato Congress

The Irish Potato Federation – with the support of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Bord Bia, Failte Ireland and Teagasc – has won its bid to host the World Potato Congress (WPC) in 2021 in Dublin.

It is envisaged that 1,000 delegates from developing and developed countries across the globe – including: growers; researchers; producers; traders; processors; and manufacturers – will attend the congress.

The Irish Potato Federation has also secured the simultaneous hosting of the Europatat Congress  the annual congress of the European association of the potato trade.

Both events will become a week-long focus on the potato, the third most important food crop in terms of global consumption.

At today’s launch in the RDS, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture Andrew Doyle said: “I am delighted to be able to announce this good news for Ireland in the RDS, which will be the congress venue for the 2021 World Potato Congress.

“I want my department and Bord Bia to continue to work with the Irish Potato Federation to make this event a great success for the Irish food industry.”

‘Centrepiece of marketing excellence’

The president of the Irish Potato Federation, Michael Hoey, said: “Winning the World Potato Congress for Ireland is the culmination of a lot of hard and creative work by a very dedicated committee and I know that the 2021 congress will shine a spotlight on the importance of the potato in Ireland, and across the globe, and become a centrepiece of world-class marketing excellence.”

The president and CEO of World Potato Congress Inc, Romain Cools, said: “Ireland has a very important historical and cultural connection with the potato going back hundreds of years.

I see the 2021 congress looking at the important role the potato will play in the future as a sustainable source for food security across the world.

“The World Potato Congress in Dublin will be the perfect follow-up to this year’s congress, which will be held in May 2018 in Cuzco, Peru, under the title: ‘Biodiversity, food security and business’.

“I will be working closely with the Irish Potato Federation over the coming years and really look forward to visiting Dublin in 2021 for the Congress.”

L-R: Romain Cools, president, World Potato Congress; Minister of State at Department of Agriculture Andrew Doyle; Michael Hoey, president of the Irish Potato Federation. Image source: Colm Mahady, Fennell Photography

Paul Mockler, head of commercial development in Failte Ireland, said: “We have been working with the Irish Potato Federation since 2015 on this conference which illustrates the hard work and advance pitching necessary to successfully win such events.

“Failte Ireland is delighted that the Irish Potato Federation was able to secure this conference for Dublin in 2021. The work and dedication of the local Organising Committee, supported by our own Dublin Convention Bureau, delivers a real economic benefit to this country, with this event alone worth €1.7 million.”