Potato promotion campaign enters its second year

The mighty spud attended the RUAS Balmoral Show 2016 to celebrate the first anniversary of the Northern Ireland Potato Promotion Campaign.
UFU's Barclay BellUFU's Barclay Bell
UFU's Barclay Bell

One year ago the organisers of the Potato Promotions campaign set out their aims and objectives asking the industry for their support with funding to:

l Inspire existing potato consumers to buy more potatoes

l Attract new potato consumers, especially in the younger age bracket

l Emphasise the quality of our locally grown potatoes

The Northern Ireland Potato Industry responded positively to our call and contributed about £17k from growers and packers plus a further £8.6k from DARD/Invest NI through the NI Regional Food Programme was secured. This industry funding was invested wisely for the sector conveying the message that the potato is ‘Mighty not Humble’ but remains a modern, exciting and healthy food.

Success to date includes the delivery of a strong social media campaign, aimed at younger consumers. PR Promotion activity was progressed delivering a two page special in the Belfast Telegraph, alongside a special joint venture with Queen’s Student Union with a prize hamper to feed a student house for a week (including lots of potatoes).

The Mighty Spud Awards profiled our local best mash, healthy, novelty, and chip categories. The awards caught the media and public interest with 300 entries and 29 articles/captions in National and local papers. Local chef Paula McIntyre led the panel in search of winners. (See the video of the winning categories at https.//vimeo.com/160890929) This was all made possible with the fortunate additional support from DARD Supply Chain staff to obtain a one off £10k award for Invest NI.

UFU Deputy President Ivor Ferguson and chairman of the promotional campaign commented: “We have an exciting programme planned for 2016/2017 and stressed we need again industry contributions both financial and physical to allow this to progress. The campaign has made a strong start however to continue and allow us to progress we need all those who supported us last year to do so again plus generating at least another £15k from the industry itself.”

UFU President Barclay Bell welcomed the ‘The Mighty Spud’ when visiting the UFU /NFU stand recently. Growers have recently received a reminder letter encouraging them to complete a Standing Order for the remaining two years of this campaign. UFU ask all to play their part and help fund this exciting and worthy campaign.