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KTN to host the Innovation Hub at BP2019 - The Potato Industry Event

Posted on 29/10/2019

Unique whole-supply chain access on offer at BP2019

BP2019 Potato Industry Show – the UK’s largest potato gathering from seed to supermarket - takes place on 20 - 21 November in Harrogate.

“As you wander the aisles at BP2019, you’re as likely to encounter an expert in retail presentation, or hydro-cutting technology for the perfect chip, as you are a scientist specialising in trait selection or looking to deploy novel technologies to tackle a particular pest or disease,” says show director Steve Wellbeloved summarising what makes the event different.

“Many shows tend to focus primarily on one half of the agri-food supply chain,” he argues. “For instance, drawing growers to look at crop production up to the point of loading at the farm, or separately, processing sector specialists to look at factory operations.

“The British Potato event had similar origins. It started life as mainly a harvesting demonstration, then expanded to cover agronomic inputs in general, and in the last 15 years has widened in scope following potatoes all the way from breeding, through to all aspects of the post-farm business including handling, packaging and retail presentation.”

The result is a show now drawing around 6,000 potato industry participants that offers full supply chain access – a particularly valuable opportunity for innovators testing concepts that will require wide acceptance to achieve uptake.

“This will be the largest BP show yet, with the most exhibitors and numerous new product and service launches,” says co-organiser Carla Lowndes. “Overall one in five exhibitors are taking space for the first time, adding further to the new things to see.

“Interestingly, mainland European companies are heavily represented among these newcomers, so that’s testament to the importance attached to the GB potato industry and the determination to maintain links regardless of what political and regulatory arrangements may be in place by the time next year’s crop goes in the ground.”

Initial visitor registration data is also confirming strong overseas interest.

“The event has always drawn a healthy cross section of visitors from across Europe and key economies like Australia, China, India, Japan, North America and Russia, based on Britain’s reputation as a leader in potato agronomy, handling and retail presentation,” says Carla.

Inevitably, trade and competitiveness themes will be much in evidence and, as part of this, the organisers are developing the Trade & Innovation Hub piloted at the last show.

The UK industry’s key trade organisations – British Potato Trade Association, Fresh Potato Suppliers’ Association and Potato Processors’ Association – will have informal mini-booths in the Hub and representatives will be around the show taking the opportunity to discuss topical issues.

Experts from the Department for International Trade will be found on a dedicated stand in the Hub.

KTN to host Innovation Hub

Joining trade bodies to focus on competitiveness through innovation will be the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN).

“The core message is that if you think innovation support is for people in white laboratory coats, bigger businesses or those in a different part of the supply chain than you, then that’s a misconception and we’d love to talk about the exciting opportunities available,” says KTN’s Agrifood Knowledge Transfer Manager Chris Danks.

As real-life examples are key, the KTN team will be joined by a variety of innovators at different stages of commercial development.

“These innovators will happily answer questions on how they’ve progressed their projects so far, but inevitably they’re also very keen to test responses to their ideas with show participants,” explains Chris.  “Like the main show, this will cover the full supply chain. So we anticipate practical examples from indoor potato seed production using controlled environment farming techniques, through various areas of field-scale precision production, to post farm potato waste recovery and recycling technologies.”

In addition to one-to-one discussions, KTN will be participating in the main AHDB-led seminar programme and hosting a separate open-invitation session on day 2, primarily aimed at supply chain companies, on co-funding options for kickstarting innovation.

Event details

What: BP2019 Potato Industry Show – the UK’s largest potato gathering from seed to supermarket

When: 9:00 – 5.30 on Wednesday 20 November, 9:00 – 4:00 on Thursday 21 November

Where: Yorkshire Event Centre, Harrogate, United Kingdom HG2 8QZ

Information and free tickets here.

Full Show Directory here.

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