Sep 14, 2023
Potatoes New Zealand CEO calls for new strategic plan for country’s growers

Potatoes New Zealand CEO Kate Trufitt is calling for a new strategic plan to ensure longevity and growth for the country’s 174 potato growers.

Trufitt told Rural News that growers will help PNZ draft the plan.

Potatoes New Zealand CEO Kate Trufitt. Photo: Provided

“To ensure our growers and members are part of this process I am spending time visiting them over the next six months,” Trufitt said. “The sector has its challenges, and it is up to us at PNZ to listen to our stakeholders and develop an enduring plan to ensure longevity and growth for the sector.”

Trufitt said she has been impressed with the generational knowledge of growers, including fourth-generation farming families.

“They were very welcoming and also open about issues they face and how PNZ can assist them,” she said.

Trufitt worked for processing and postharvest company Gisborne for 15 years and has worked in local and overseas markets in compliance and food safety. She began her role at PNZ six weeks ago.

“I love to work for a sector that is passionate about what it does and has a genuine value-based story,” Trufitt told Rural News.

— Sudesh Kissun, Rural News

Belgian, French sectors sign agreement

The Belgian and French organic potato sectors signed a new covenant on organic potatoes at the Potato Europe trade show earlier this month in Belgium.

David Clarinval, Belgium’s federal agriculture minister, attended the signing of the covenant on robust organic potatoes 2023-2026, according to

Loes Mertens of organic support company Biowallonie said the agreement will help develop more varieties internationally.

“The great thing is that we’re involving more French players. So, this Belgian-French covenant’s added value is that there are more robust varieties that are as yet unknown in the Netherlands,” Mertens said. “We already have 35 on the list in Belgium; that’s quite a lot.”

Several Dutch seed potato companies also attended the signing, Mertens told

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