The Potato and the Congress

7th Jan, 2020

That this planet is made of rice and potato is something on which we can all agree, I’d say. However, I would have never imagined the existence of congresses for products such as the famous tuber - considered a food for the poor in bygone days.

These days, instead, potatoes are a true food phenomenon and one of the world’s largest crops. Countless associations and their associated congresses around it exist across the globe. I’ll note one that just happens to be located in Brussels: the European Potato Processors' Association (EUPPA). There is also a globally significant biennial business event known as the World Potato Congress (WPC), of which I had never heard - until I was notified that Adelaide, in South Australia, had been named as the host city for the 2023 World Potato Congress.

The 2023 World Potato Congress is expected to attract over 1,000 delegates to Adelaide for the week, generating over $4.5 million for the State’s economy and almost 40 direct jobs. That shows just how a congress can impact a destination, with the city gaining a spot on the global map as a unique destination for congresses in the agro-food industry. A premium food destination!

I can well imagine that this congress will serve to inspire other destinations to promote themselves as a premium destination for some popular product or another.

The options are many. Rice, which has a similar history, is also a staple food now subject of various congresses.

Sometimes the presence of an event is really able to change everything.

During my recent visit to Limpopo in South Africa, for example, I spent several days travelling through the area where the marula grows. This very popular fruit is used to create the renowned Amarula liqueur. The province is rich in marula trees, but poor economically. A congress could help change this.

A congress can have a magical effect on an economy, which would remain otherwise underused. That’s why I am looking forward to the world’s first Amarula congress!

Text by Marcel A.M. Vissers
Editor in Chief of HQ Magazine 



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