Potatoes: what do I get for my levy?
Returns for your levy
Storage research and support
Investing £500,000 a year in storage research
We have invested in research to identify how best to store potatoes without CIPC, therefore protecting the 2m tonnes of potatoes that go into long term storage each year. Including:
- Research, trials and guidance on how to get the best from Maleic Hydrazide and alternatives like mint oil, ethylene and DMN
- Introducing a new Storage Network service providing free 1:1 advice – where an independent expert will visit your stores - 250 stores and 250k tonnes covered so far
- Building our knowledge of the natural dormancy of 40 of the most popular varieties in Britain
- Producing the universally used step-by-step guidance on store cleaning and removal of CIPC residue
As well as making emergency use applications for new sprout suppressants and coordinating representatives from all industry sectors to contribute to the submissions.
Who to speak to about potato storage research:
Or call the storage advice line on 0800 02 82 111
Book your 1:1 visit via the Storage Network on 01406 359419
Marketing and market development
Influencing 14% more consumers to think potatoes are healthy
For 14 consecutive years before the launch of our 2015 marketing campaign Potatoes: More than a bit on the side potato consumption was declining ~3% each year. Consumption increased during each of the three years of the campaign. Meanwhile:
- We delivered health messages on fibre, potassium, B vitamins and freedom from fat
- Gains of 14% more consumers agreeing potatoes are healthy and 17% more recognising potatoes are fat-free
- We reached millions of consumers via our dedicated consumer marketing website lovepotatoes.co.uk and social media accounts on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter
Reaching 5 million consumers during lockdown with our potato consumer marketing campaign
Our campaign was revived this year to ensure potatoes stayed front and centre while people had more time at home. We even ran our advertising on catch-up TV for the first time, as ads played on ITV hub during Britain's got Talent and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.
Reassuring young consumers that 'ordinary food is good enough'
This campaign launched in January 2020.
With so many mixed messages in the media about food, nutrition and diets, it is easy to get confused and follow guidance from unqualified sources.
These messages are magnified through social media and can have damaging effects on our physical and mental welfare. Many of us strive to look like others or follow extreme diets which often aren’t realistic and can instead have detrimental effects on health due to a lack of key nutrients.
Educating over 5 million primary school children with Grow Your Own Potatoes
We’ve helped over 5 million children learn where their food comes from since 2005 through our Grow Your Own Potatoes project in primary schools. The seed for the project is donated by the industry, making the scheme a fantastic example of industry cooperation, as well as a success. Contact us if you'd like help getting your local schools involved.
Who to speak to about potato consumer marketing or education:
Working with the Governments of our top export destinations
We have worked with the governments of Egypt, Morocco, Thailand, Canary Islands and Israel our top five destinations, which account for 70% of seed export trade, to ensure these markets and customers retain confidence in UK seed post-Brexit. Last year we visited Egypt, with partners from Scottish Government and received assurances from the Egyptian Government that legislation was in place to allow the continued supply of British seed potatoes post-Brexit.
Who to speak to about export and overseas market development:
Helping you improve how you grow potatoes and your crop protection
Improving productivity, costs or profitability for 93% of attendees at Strategic Potato Farm and other events
We have provided over 60 regional and digital potato focussed Farm Excellence events over the last three years, where 94% of levy payers say they improved their technical knowledge and 86% picked up something to improve productivity or efficiency. Highlights include:
- Trials and demonstrations have taken place on alternatives to linuron and diquat, PCN control, nutrition, irrigation, cultivations and more
- Since 2018 we have spent £125,000 on field trials on desiccation, providing clear guidance on haulm destruction without diquat
- Through our programmes one grower was able to count £65 per hectare of savings while increasing marketable yield
We have also helped growers avoid waste when switching to new programmes after losing actives by researching, modelling, costing and demonstrating the most efficient use of alternatives.
Trials and demonstrations have continued safely throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, with circa 900 attending live digital events, and a further 1,700+ views of event recordings:
£1.2m spent on crop protection research, forecasting and monitoring over the last 3 years
Whether it is blight, PCN or aphids and virus, you’ll find regular updates on pest and disease pressure through the summer supported by the latest thinking in management and control options. Including:
- PCN tolerance has now been listed across 20 varieties and dormancy ranking established for 70% of area grown
- The levy funds essential national aphid monitoring and forecasting tools, and updated best practice as part of the National Aphid and Virus Forum plan
- The levy funds Blightwatch, Fight Against Blight and British involvement in the Euro blight programme providing early warning of aggressive and resistant strains – agronomists were able to adjust product choice and spray routines – potentially saving several ha. of crop from strains EU_37 and EU_36 in Kent, Shropshire and Yorkshire
The fight continues, and last year we agreed to fund blight strain results in-season so that you know what you're dealing with in real-time. Our site contains weather alerts, blight monitoring and the opportunity to sign-up as a blight scout.
Agronomy Knowledge Library highlights
Who to speak to regarding Strategic Potato Farms and crop protection:
Market information and Brexit
The information you need, when you need it through accurate market statistics and analysis
During the Coronavirus pandemic we have ensured that you have the latest information as markets change rapidly. This includes:
- Price and demand information of weekly free-buy trade across the industry
- Updates on spending on potatoes at retail and food service
- Bespoke and in-depth reports including our recent work looking at:
No other provider has as robust data validation processes as AHDB to ensure the prices we quote, via our emails and Farmers Weekly and Guardian, are representative of the market – we cover over 1.5 million tonnes of first purchase potatoes through our weekly calls
Who to speak to about potato market information:
Providing information on how Brexit could impact the potato sector
We have produced scenarios of how different Brexit outcomes could impact the potatoes sector, allowing your business to move to position itself correctly.
- What does Brexit mean for potato markets?
- Tariffs and Tariff Rate Quotas
- No deal Brexit in the fresh chipping sector
- Crisping and a no-deal Brexit
- No-deal Brexit in the seed potato sector
- No-deal Brexit in the frozen potato market?
- No-deal Brexit in the pre-pack sector
Our team also monitor emerging trade deals and agricultural policy to help analyse their potential impact on the potato sector.
Who to speak to regarding the impact of Brexit, trade deals and Ag Policy on the potato sector:
Supporting your business through the impact of Coronavirus on the Potato Sector
We provided evidence on the evolving coronavirus impact helped make sense of unprecedented shifts in purchasing patterns and launched a potato trade portal that saw 430 loads traded – close to £0.75M worth.
Unearth your strengths. Farmbench helps you to understand and compare your full costs of production. Input either whole-farm or just your potato costs to suit your needs.
Want to know more? Speak to your local KE manager
Contact your local member of our newly expanded KE team, their contact details are below:
North West and North East
East Anglia and South East
Wales, West Midlands and South West
Need support with the planting returns portal?
We have upgraded and improved the online planting returns system. Please click on this link to access the portal: https://levyportal.ahdb.org.uk/Account/PotatoGrowerMigration
For Northern Scotland and the East of England - Mark Colmer email@example.com 07831 319774
For Southern Scotland, Western England and Wales - David Want firstname.lastname@example.org 07812 658119