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|Motto||Supporting the British Potato Industry|
|Legal status||Division of a non-departmental public body|
|Purpose||Potatoes in GB|
|2,900 potato farmers and 400 potato distributors/purchasers|
|Mrs Margaret Mogridge|
|The Board of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board(Chairman - John Godfrey CBE)|
|Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board|
|£6m (from the levy)|
The Potato Council is an organisation that aims to develop and promote Britain's potato industry. Previously an independent non-departmental public body, it has been a division of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board since 1 April 2008.
Set up to replace the Potato Marketing Board, the Potato Council was originally known as the Potato Industry Development Council, and then the British Potato Council until April 2008, it was merged with other similar levy-funded organisations to form the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board in 2008, where it operates as a specialist division focused on the potato industry.
It was set up by the Potato Industry Development Council Order 1997. It levied farmers under powers originally delegated from the Industrial Organisation and Development Act 1947 but now through powers granted to its parent organisation. It was also funded through the Scottish Executive Environment and Rural Affairs Department (SEERAD) and the National Assembly for Wales Agriculture Department (NAWAD).
The Potato Council works to help improve the competitiveness and sustainability of potato growers, while also promoting the alleged health benefits of potatoes. The Council invests in teaching children about healthy eating and showing how potatoes are grown. Many of the industry's farmers spend time working with children in schools and on their farms, showing how they plant, grow and harvest their crops.
Its publication is the Potato Weekly, which mainly lists current prices of potatoes per tonne. The Council visits agricultural shows and extols the virtues and health benefits of potatoes, with a resident cook on hand.
Its main functions are:
- To promote potatoes to customers at home and abroad
- To encourage and commission research into improving the efficiency of potato production and their sale
- To offer advice to other parts of government and other farming organisations
- To provide statistical information on the UK potato industry
The Potato Council raises all of its money from a compulsory levy paid to AHDB by potato growers and seed merchants and receives no funding from the government. The grower levy is £42.62 per hectare and the purchaser levy is £0.1858 per tonne. Its main base is at Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire, and there is a Scottish office in Newbridge in Midlothian and an experimental station (SBEU) in Sutton Bridge in Lincolnshire.
Agricultural experimental station
The agricultural experiment station is located alongside the River Nene between the Sutton Bridge Power Station and the A17 road. It occupies the former RAF Sutton Bridge airfield site that was acquired in 1958 by the Ministry of Agriculture. For many decades it has been at the forefront of research into potatoes in the UK.
The potato council runs a number of marketing campaigns throughout the year, among these are:
- National Chip Week, a campaign to expand coverage and knowledge of chips and chip shops.
- Love Potatoes which aims to encourage people to eat more potatoes.
- The Potato Industry Development Council Order 1997
- http://www.official-documents.gov.uk/document/hc0708/hc07/0771/0771.pdf British Potato Council report and accounts 2007/2008
- Section 6, The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board Order 2008
- The National Archives (The National Archives document reference No.: FY): Records of the Potato Marketing Boards, 1933-1997.
- Potato Council website
- Education website
- British Potato Variety Database
- National Chip Week - Official Site
- Aphid Monitoring
- Potato Review Industry Journal
- Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board website