May 19, 2020Sustainability focus of latest ‘Eye on Potatoes’ podcast
Earlier this year, it was announced that the former Potato Sustainability Initiative was expanding to include more facets of the potato supply chain.
The new organization — the Potato Sustainability Alliance (PSA) — would include not only North American growers, but also fresh packers, processors, potato product buyers and other agribusinesses.
In the National Potato Council’s latest “Eye on Potatoes” podcast, titled “Telling the Potato Sustainability Success Story,” included several people associated with PSA, who joined host Lane Nordlund and other sustainable-focused members of the industry. They include:
- Laura Scandurra, PSA’s executive director
- Jolyn Rasmussen, Raw Product Development and Sustainability, JR Simplot and PSA’s vice-chair
- Ed Schneider, partner, Schneider Farms in Pasco, Washington and PSA board member
- Tommy Jackson, Sustainability Solutions Account Manager, Syngenta USA and PSA board member
- Tammy McElroy, Senior Director Sustainability, Sysco
- Mike Wenkel, COO, National Potato Council
The podcast segment, which was recorded in January during Potato Expo, offers details on what PSA’s goals are and the value of getting farmers’ stories to the consuming public.
“Our farmers are already sustainable in a lot of ways. At the same, there is more that we can do,” Scandurra said. “We work closely with universities in several areas, particularly in soil health, where we are trying to identify those practices that farmers can do that have both an environmental and economical effect, because you really need both to be sustainable.”
Tommy Jackson of Syngenta spoke about how his company is working to improve sustainability practices, which includes a $2 billion investment. He also cited ways Syngenta is working with growers to implement practices that will help the environment and make them more financially efficient.
“Potato growers, particularly, we have worked with on the dry corners on their pivots,” he said. “We’ve put in bee pollinator habitats across the country. Some of largest potato growers in North America have been sponsored by Syngenta to put habitats in the corners.” Jackson added that solar panels in dry corners can be used to reduce a growers’ carbon footprint and generate energy.
“Eye on Potatoes” episodes are available through all popular podcast platforms.