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The Europatat 2018 Congress, marked by the UN Sustainable Development Goals
The need for a sustainable production model and the fight against waste were some of the main issues.


Last Friday, May 4th, the European potato community met in Brussels for the 2018 Europatat Congress. Under the slogan "Popes: a healthy, sustainable and responsible sector", the annual event focused on the many assets of the sector in the areas of health, nutrition, sustainability and social corporate responsibility, and how they are integrated into the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations.

The keynote speaker at the morning session, digital strategist and reputation management specialist Christophe Ginisty, gave participants a glimpse into the trends of social networks and the most caring consumers, known as millennials: "Try to educate, partner and listen to your audience, "he said. He also pointed to the need for diversified message associations in different social networking platforms and the role of ensuring that people continue to think "critically".

Other notable speakers in the morning were Tania Santivaņez, Regional Agricultural Officer of the FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia, who spoke on the contribution of potatoes to food security and poverty reduction in developing countries and He asked to build strategic alliances to meet Sustainable Development Goal number 14, "responsible consumption and production". Toine Timmermans, Coordinator of the REFRESH Program, warned the audience about the need for potato companies to include food security and the fight against food waste as part of their business model. The closing of the session Health and sustainability in the potato sector go hand in hand, Loes Neven, from the Flamenco Institute of Healthy Homes (VIGeZ), presented the new inverted food pyramid that demonstrates the multiple health benefits of potatoes .

The afternoon session, under the theme "People and community in the cornerstone of the potato sector", was opened by Tine Delva, policy adviser to the General Secretariat of the European Commission in charge of the 2030 Agenda of the Nations United for Sustainable Development. He welcomed the approach put this year by the Europatat Congress on the Sustainable Development Goals and called on private companies to act and invest in a sustainable production model. Finally, Jolanda Soons-Dings (LambWeston Meijer), Gilles Fontaine (Desmazičres) and Arnaud Delacour (UNPT) presented three case studies on how potato processors, traders and producers are already leading the key areas of health, sustainability and business responsibility.

Closing the Europatat 2018 Congress, Michael Scannell, Director of International Relations and with the Groups of Interest of the Food Chain in the General Directorate of Health and Food Safety of the European Commission, highlighted the good position in which the sector of the potato in relation to food security It matters: "The high values ​​and strengths of the potato sector must not be hidden!" he concluded.

With more than 90 participants from 21 different countries, the Europatat 2018 Congress and side events have received extremely positive comments, highlighting the high quality of the speakers and their refreshing and inspiring messages.

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