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Seed event rises to the challenges ahead

2 August 2011

Confronting the challenges facing the British seed potato industry and planning a path to prosperity will be the focus of AHDB Potatoes Seed Industry Event which takes place on October 26, 2010, at Crieff Hydro, Crieff, near Perth in Scotland.

From enhancing storage efficiencies to tracking changes in consumer attitudes, to breeding technology, the factors that affect a seed grower’s bottom line have experienced a dramatic shift. The event is a valuable chance for the industry to come together, explore the challenges and discuss the solutions that will deliver a thriving future.

“We have enhanced the compact, one day format and the event is packed with keynote sessions and practical workshops in addition to offering great opportunities to renew acquaintances and make valuable new contacts,” notes AHDB Potatoes seed and export technical executive Sophie Lock.

The conference will be opened by AHDB Potatoes chairman, Allan Stevenson. This will be followed by a discourse with Canadian Potato Committee chairman Keith Kuhl on plant health threats in Canada and lessons to be learned from the recent plant health crisis in Alberta that required all seed destined for export to be destroyed. Also of great interest will be the discussion led by Anton Haverkort from the Plant Research Institute in Wageningen in the Netherlands on expectations of genetics and breeding and how breeding might answer some of the current challenges to the industry.

Workshops follow lunch and will tackle some of today’s fundamental challenges: the development of new seed treatments, effective control of potyviruses, managing the emerging threat of Dickeya, cost effective store management and consumer needs and attitudes.

Delegates will then reconvene for conference papers on insights into customer demand in addition to an insider’s view of the factors necessary for seed industry success. Rounding off the proceedings will be the ever-popular industry dinner and awards ceremony.

“It will be a valuable opportunity to explore how breeding expertise can help us adapt to future market requirements,” continues Ms Lock. “It is no surprise many past delegates and companies have already committed to attend.”

Around 200 growers, merchants, seed suppliers, researchers, government representatives and packers and processors are expected to attend. Spaces are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis and the event may be full before the October 4 deadline. For more details and to download the booking form, please go to www.potato.org.uk/events.

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