Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill has urged buyers, processors and retailers to ‘buy local’ when sourcing potatoes.
The minister was speaking during a visit to Wilson Country Potatoes in Craigavon, where she met with CEO Angus Wilson and Managing Director Lewis Cunningham to discuss the challenges and opportunities currently facing the potato production and marketing sector.
Speaking after her visit, Minister O’Neill said: “Our agri-food sector is currently facing many challenges and my visit today to Wilson Country Potatoes provided me with an opportunity to hear from Angus and Lewis what specific challenges are being faced by the potato sector.
“Potatoes are a vital part of a healthy diet and we produce some of the finest potatoes across this island. I fully support the Potato Promotion Campaign and I urge buyers, processors and retailers to think ‘buy local’ when it comes to sourcing good quality potatoes. By working collaboratively as an industry I believe local potatoes, whether seed or ware, can develop sustainable markets which will enable the potato sector here to gain strength.
“For my part I will continue to promote and champion our excellent agri-food produce, and I believe that a profitable and sustainable local industry can only be achieved if farmers see a fair return for their produce.
“I recently established a Supply Chain Forum to consider how best to develop a strong, sustainable agri-food supply chain, which I believe will encourage greater fairness, transparency and communication,” said Minister O’Neill.