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Potato Ambassadors

22 June 2011

All the Ambassadors have worked hard since their recruitment in Spring 2010 and they regularly contribute to the following types of media coverage:

·      Press and farming trade interviews

·      Radio interviews

·      Online videos

·      TV programmes

·      Consumer and show events

You can view the Potato Ambassadors profiles below.


Recent coverage:

·      Tim Briscoe from East Anglia helped Channel 4 with their detailed look at potato farming in the UK for their show, ‘Food: What Goes in your Basket?’ This was aired on 20 October 2010. You can view the programme here

·      Matt Spanton has answered some questions about potato farming for popular Women's magazine, 'Woman and Home', this appeared in the February 2011 edition.

·      Allan Stevenson and Anthony and Lucy Carroll featured in the Great British Food Revival about potatoes featured on BBC1 and BBC2 on 16 March and 24 March respectively. Gregg Wallace, Master Chef presenter, championed the sector.


Profiles of Ambassadors:

South West – Reuben Collins

Reuben is the fourth generation of potato growers on his family farm in Cornwall and he produces fresh potatoes for a major supermarket chain as well as his local farm shops. Reuben is so committed to home grown fresh potatoes that he volunteered to have his face printed on his bags of potatoes last year! He has also spent time at community food and farming events promoting his produce and getting people interested in where their food comes from.



South – Nick Baird

Nick Baird grows around 900 acres of potatoes in fields all over the South of England. Much of his crop is based near a large site at Funtington, West Sussex, where he grows a number of varieties and lives with his wife and three young children. Nick’s commitment to quality has led him to diversify into packing the potatoes himself so he can truly demonstrate the field to fork message. He also tries to sell as much of his produce as locally as possible to supermarkets in the south and other farm shops.


South East – Matt Spanton
Kent-based farm manager Matt Spanton was born into farming and studied at agricultural college. He now runs a 3,000 acre farm in Faversham supplying all the major supermarkets with local produce. Brought up on potatoes Matt is keen to show everyone how easy it can be to fit potatoes into busy meal times and believes they can be used in hundreds of different ways.


East of England – Tim Briscoe
Tim farms 500 acres in Norfolk and is so passionate about the quality of his crop that he does all the washing, sorting, packing and storing of his potatoes on his farm. He also tries, where possible, to sell as much of his produce locally and supplies supermarkets and residents with bags of his Buxton Potatoes. He’s even been known to promote his wares locally with a cardboard cut out of himself and homemade potato cakes to hand out!

Central – Andrea Adams
Andrea farms potatoes in heart of England countryside with her husband and two children. She believes potatoes play a really important part of providing her kids with a healthy balanced and nutritious diet. She regularly goes into the local school and talks to them about the farming process and in return, hosts a farm walk to show them how growing potatoes really happens. Andrea and her husband supply a large chip manufacturer and are proud that their potatoes can be transformed into potato products from the field within a few hours!

Wales – Walter Simon
Walter farms 130 acres of potatoes in Pembrokeshire, Wales and supplies supermarkets all over the country. He also grows seed potatoes for other growers to use. Walter has been very active in representing the potato industry over many years and is truly passionate about potatoes. He attends the Pembrokeshire Potato Festival every year, as well as hosting numerous community groups and school visits on his farm to educate the next generation and share his enthusiasm for the crop.


Yorkshire – Ben Sykes
Ben is the third generation of the Sykes family to grow potatoes at their large farm in Tadcaster, Yorkshire. He supplies a large chip manufacturer and has a seed storage business for other farms on site. Ben has hosted open farm days for the local public keen to see what growing is all about, and gives students the opportunity to learn more about farming with guided tours.


North West – Robin Cropper
The Cropper family have grown and sold potatoes for the past seven generations. Robin runs the substantial farm in Ormskirk, Lancashire with his brother, John, producing fresh potatoes for chip shops in nearby Liverpool and Manchester. Most of the 6,000 tonnes they produce each year are consumed within a 30 mile radius of the farm – a fact they are extremely proud of. With three young children of his own, Robin, a single dad, is keen to show everyone just how quick and easy potatoes are to cook with.

North East – Anthony Carroll
The Carroll family have farmed at Cornhill-on-Tweed, Northumbria since the 1930's where they found a passion for growing, cooking and eating unusual varieties of potatoes that offer great taste and quality. Anthony and his wife, Lucy, now grow over 20 different varieties. Their farm was voted Britain’s most beautiful in 2006 and the site is now a LEAF mark demonstration farm, showing environmentally friendly and sustainable farming practices to others.

Scotland – Allan Stevenson
Allan was born on the farm at Luffness Mains, in East Lothian and after many years in business outside agriculture, Allan returned to his roots and has been at the helm of his own farming company for 9 years. The farm, where Allan’s grandfather started growing potatoes in 1914, is LEAF Marque accredited and produces a dozen different potato varieties for supermarket. It is ideally placed to demonstrate Allan’s passion for the crop to local consumers and the media.

For more information contact Maria Ball on 02476 478773 or Being a Potato Ambassador is one way to support activities, however, there are lots of other ways to get involved (link to page)