Organizers of the 2012 World Potato Congress in Edinburgh, Scotland next year have released the names of the first 13 commercial sponsors responsible for $230,000 worth of industry support for what promises to be a highly successful industry-wide event.
Rob Clayton, organization director for the Potato Council, says another three sponsors have agreed to support the triennial congress.
"We're about 75% of the way towards our sponsorship target but still have opportunities for commercial organizations to become involved," he says. "The business case for sponsoring the global event is clear for companies keen to put their products and services in front of both British and international delegates.
The event will be important for the industry, he adds, "not just because scientists have sequenced the potato genome, but because environmental, food security, and dietary pressures are all raising the potato agenda as world populations increase."
At the event, set for May 27-30, researchers will address these and many other issues, he notes. "We have big speakers with big opinions talking to delegates representing a big industry," he says.
"We anticipate a highly successful, industry-wide event with an active take-away action plan resulting for all sectors of the industry. I'm very confident that sponsors, speakers and delegates alike will benefit from their participation in what I see as a truly unique event."
Among the sponsors for the congress are Bayer Crop Science and DuPont.
The congress, held every three years in different nations, will focus sharply on increasing demand as an extra three billion consumers are expected to be added to the world population by 2050. Potato industry officials believe that their product represents one of the most efficient crops in terms of inputs, yields and environmental protection.
Ranked the third most important crop globally for human nutrition, potato researchers continue to advance the yield capabilities, which will be a top topic at the congress.
The importance of global food security and sustainability will be high on the agenda of the congress.