PotatoEurope 2014: Europe’s largest Potato Industry Event

PotatoEurope 2014 will include Europe’s largest live potato machinery demonstration, where visitors will have the chance to see planting, lifting and loading over an area extending to nearly 30ha. PotatoEurope, which takes place on 3-4 September 2014 in Bockerode, Hanover, is organised by the DLG (the German Agricultural Society).

All the machinery and equipment, technical know-how and industry innovations the market offers for successful potato production will be on show, with over 200 exhibitors taking part. As well as static trade stands, more than 30 varieties will be visible in trial plots for farmers who want to see how each performs in the ground, and key industry topics will also be discussed, with focus being placed on crate handling, storage logistics and risk management in marketing.

The event also provides an opportunity to meet with professional colleagues from all over the world, with a staggering 46 countries attending in 2010 – the last time the Germany event was held at Bockerode.

Exhibition’s Project Manager Dr. Wilfried Wolf answered our questions about the show.

Could you tell us something about the history of PotatoEurope?

PotatoEurope is the brand name of a specialist exhibition covering all aspects of potatoes which is held annually in Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Germany. This year will be the third PotatoEurope in Germany and as before in 2006 and 2010 it is being held in Bockerode near Hanover.

PotatoEurope is not a German innovation – in fact Germany is the newest member of the circle. Although there are many parallels with regard to dates, exhibition structure and conception, each exhibition has kept its own specific flavour so that everyone can find a good reason to pay a visit. On the other hand, cooperation between all four exhibitions has led to positive developments – as can be seen from the increasing exhibitor and visitor numbers.

What are your expectations for PotatoEurope 2014?

So far, over 200 companies have already registered for PotatoEurope 2014, which means an increase of around 10% compared with 2010. PotatoEurope is a meeting place for all the prominent companies from the breeding, fertiliser and plant protection sectors as well as agricultural engineering and processing technology and the trade and services branches. These companies offer visitors a unique range of products and services relating to all aspects of potatoes.

PotatoEurope means movement – the largest machinery and equipment demonstration for planting, lifting and loading taking place in 2014 will be held on a 30 ha area. In addition, there will be special events such as the Information Centre for Crate Handling and Storage Logistics. Innovative machinery and equipment solutions for potato storage will be presented in action at the centre. The focus will be on effective logistics systems and practicable technical solutions for traceability in goods flows.

PotatoEurope 2014 is an information platform too. A lecture event with the topic “Marketing under control – Risk management in practice” is planned for the afternoon of the first exhibition day. Visitors will be able to enter into discussions and share experiences with expert speakers from prominent companies here.

What role does PotatoEurope play compared with similar events in other parts of the world?

Of course, there are other important events and congresses focussing on potatoes along with the PotatoEurope events series and they also have their place. In my view, there are two characteristics which make the PotatoEurope concept something special:

PotatoEurope is original, because it gathers together all participants from the production sector, upstream and downstream areas, from science, academia and research – in the open air, on the field and thus at the source of production. PotatoEurope is authentic – the potatoes harvested in the demonstration are sent for processing and consumption immediately afterwards.

It is thanks to these two qualities, along with the extensive machinery demonstrations and information events, that PotatoEurope attracts so many international experts. There were visitors from over 46 countries at PotatoEurope in 2010.

What are your hopes for the future, considering the past 10 years?

In 2005, four European events organizers decided to unite and create a specialist exhibition focussing on potatoes under the umbrella of “PotatoEurope”. The exhibition has now already been held twice in each of the countries. All of the events have shown positive development, leading us to hope that PotatoEurope 2014 will be a success too and that we will be able to hand over a sound basis for the next event to our colleagues in Belgium. We all wish to bring about vigorous development in the events series and to offer visitors a special experience where they can keep informed about the latest trends and make valuable contacts in the sector.

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