Potatoes sector plan

The long-term prospects for the British potatoes sector are mixed. Consumers are returning to potatoes as a staple food in times of recession, while the industry faces uncertain trading conditions as we leave the European Union and the loss of available crop protection products. Growers and the supply chain need to come together to address common challenges.

* Potatoes in Great Britain

Over the next five years, we will invest in three priority areas to help address these:

  • Potato storage
  • Crop protection
  • Protection and promotion: a great food for everyone

The challenges are:

  • How do we achieve sustainable crop storage?
  • How do we survive a transition away from conventional crop protection?
  • How can we ensure the positive credentials of potatoes are understood by consumers?
  • How do we ensure the immediate and longer-term financial sustainability of the industry?

Potato Storage

  • We invest £500,000 per year in storage research. We will increase this investment, working to identify alternatives to chlorpropham (CIPC) for the fresh and processing sectors
  • We will build on our new Storage Network service providing one-to-one practical advice, tailored to a grower’s own storage operations. This will be supported by our Stewardship Programme on store cleaning and removal of CIPC residue, to ensure growers can make the most of their storage facilities
  • Our work on variety dormancy rankings will support storage management decisions, with information available via our online Storage Hub
  • Through our network of Strategic Potato Farms (SPot), growers will be able to access field-based solutions to improve potato storability and share best practice.

Crop Protection

  • We will continue tracking and monitoring programmes such as Fight Against Blight and Aphid Alerts, to help growers prepare for and manage potential losses in crop protection. We will also speed up the process of testing and bringing new approaches to market, so growers are better equipped to manage pest, weed and diseases
  • We will help growers to find practical and cost-effective alternatives to disappearing chemistry. This will include practical field trials, similar to the ones we have run on desiccation, providing guidance on haulm destruction without diquat
  • Growers will be able to access advice, best practice and insight on crop protection via our website, podcasts and SPot Farm network, enabling them to make informed business decisions. Our benchmarking tool, Farmbench, along with new environmental programmes, will better support financial assessment of adopting new sustainable practices

Protection and promotion: a great food for everyone

  • Using our world-class consumer insight and analysis, we will help the supply chain maximise market opportunities for potatoes
  • We will provide evidence-based information to consumers on the role of potatoes in a healthy balanced diet, working through our Food Advisory Board, an independent panel of health and nutrition experts
  • Our three-year marketing campaign with Bord Bia saw a 14% increase in the number of consumers who saw potatoes as healthy. Marketing campaigns and activities to promote the benefits of potatoes will be undertaken as and when needed. This will be informed by the latest evidence and insight, and delivered in partnership with the industry
  • We will identify and promote the potato industry’s contribution to Net Zero targets using cross-sector tools

Modern levy system

As part of AHDB’s Change Programme, we have been addressing the issues of delivering programmes that are wanted by levy payers, ensuring they deliver value and a modern levy system.

Specifically, we are proposing to set levy rates in a different way and have also addressed the specific systems for Potatoes as highlighted in the response to the Request for Views exercise carried out by Defra.

Download the Potatoes: Modern Levy System proposal Give us your feedback on the Potatoes levy proposal

The closing date for feedback is January 31, 2021


Explore some of our current work in Potatoes


Download a copy of the full strategy proposal

Change Programme and Strategy 2021-2026 (PDF)

Have your say...

Feed back on the AHDB strategy using our online form

The closing date for feedback is January 31, 2021

To feed back via email, please send your response to strategy2021@ahdb.org.uk

Alternatively, you can send us your feedback by mail at: AHDB Strategy Feedback, AHDB, Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 2TL

Town Hall meetings

You are welcome to join our series of sector-focused town hall meetings on our strategy, running from December to January 2021.

This is your opportunity to ask questions on the strategy and feed back on your sector’s plan.

  • 14 December to 28 January – Horticulture 
  • 7 January 2021 – Dairy, Pork, Potatoes 
  • 13 January 2021 – Beef & Lamb 
  • 15 January 2021 – Cereals & Oilseeds 
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