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World Potato Congress 2012

19 September 2011


Research speakers confirmed for World Potato Congress 2012.

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News Release September 19, 2011

Renowned researchers join speaker programme at World Potato Congress

Top potato researchers from Britain and The Netherlands have joined the speaker panel at the World Potato Congress (WPC 2012) due to take place in Edinburgh, Scotland, May 27-30.

Exploiting the potato genome and how new-found knowledge will ultimately impact production, nutritional qualities and consumer needs will be the focus for Dr Glenn Bryan of The James Hutton Institute, Dundee, Scotland.

Cutting the potato’s production carbon footprint down to size, as part of the industry’s sustainability agenda, will see Prof Anton Haverkort of Plant Research International, Wageningen University and Research Centre, Holland suggest actions for growers.

Lead speaker on the first day, Prof Sir John Beddington, UK government chief scientific adviser, will examine the global challenges of food security in the coming decades and how policymakers can influence more sustainable intensification of agriculture with crops like the potato. He will discuss the recommendations of the UK Government Office for Science Global Food and Farming Futures report and how, one year on, this has been taken forward globally.                         

Dr Bryan, who led the UK arm of the research team that sequenced the genome of the potato, will explain how putting more science into the sector will make breeding programmes more effective.

“The use of genetics-based selection methods is very promising and technology to exploit the genome sequence is already underway,” he explains. “I can see that collaborative working involving scientists and breeders in different countries will lead to the introduction of baseline traits, such as nematode resistance, that will benefit all varieties. Individual breeders will then carry out work to introduce traits of particular relevance to their own geographic region.”

According to Prof Haverkort, the scientific community attending World Potato Congress will exchange important knowledge with peers and the commercial sector. A significant issue will be to ensure we move forward together towards establishing a sustainable industry that makes best use of energy, land, water and chemicals as our goal. We’ve worked worldwide to define and quantify the carbon footprint and now we need to develop measures in the potato industry to ensure constraints on production can be avoided.

Online registration for delegates and partners to attend WPC 2012 is available at Delegate registration is priced at £487.50 plus VAT (Value Added Tax) when applicable. Partner fees range from £286, including VAT, with what the organisers claim are very reasonable charges for social activities ranging from a golf tournament, to a whisky distillery visit and a banquet in the State Dining Room on Royal Yacht Britannia. Full details are available on the website and organisers stress that booking early is the key to getting a choice of industry interaction tour.



Sophie Lock

Event Marketing and PR Manager

AHDB Potatoes

Tanya Dhadialla

Press Officer, WPC 2012

Mistral PR

+44(0)2476 748 772

+44(0)1235 433 073



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