It is anticipated that up to 800 delegates from around the world will attend the 2022 World Potato Congress (WPC), taking place in Dublin at the end of May and start of June.

The event will be hosted by the Irish Potato Federation (IPF), in conjunction with the Canada-based company – World Potato Congress Inc.

Events will be centred on proceedings that take place at the RDS over three days: Monday, May 30; Tuesday, May 31 and Wednesday, June 1.

The following day, Thursday, June 2, delegates can choose from a selection of technical tours, which reflect the breadth and scope of the potato sector across the island of Ireland.

Liam Glennon, former IPF president, is chairman of the event organising committee.

He said: “Hosting the WPC is a first for Ireland. We won the right to hold what would have been the 2021 event back in 2017. Both Australia and the Netherlands submitted their own competing bids at that time.

“Given the Covid-19 restrictions that were in place last year, the decision was taken to postpone the WPC for 2021 on the basis that Ireland would maintain the right to push ahead with the event in 2022.”

According to Glennon, the upcoming event will serve a number of key purposes, both for the international potato sector and the industry at home.

“It has been developed, primarily, as a business event while still allowing the developing agronomy and new science associated with the potato industry to be profiled in full,” he explained.

Themes of World Potato Congress

The event recognises the three main components that make up the potato industry: Fresh table production; the processing of potatoes; and the seed sector.

Developments taking place within all three component parts will be reflected in full by the 60 speakers taking part in the WPC.

Liam Glennon continued: “Five pillars, or themes, have been identified for the WPC.

“These are the business of potatoes, the health and nutrition associated with the consumption of potatoes, the innovation currently taking place within the international potato sector, the sustainability of potato production and the role of potatoes to help deliver increased food security in developing countries.

“There is no substitution for the exchange of information and ideas that can take place at an event such as the WPC,” he added.

“With this in mind, I am happy to confirm that the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has sponsored the attendance at the WPC of 50 delegates from developing countries.

“And, of course, this will be, very much a two-way information exchange process with everyone in attendance learning from each other.”

Glennon also confirmed that the WPC will have a strong all-island focus.

“The technical tours planned for the final day will include visits to Northern Ireland, which will be hosted by growers and potato processing operations,” he concluded.