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UK consumers have less appreciation for how their favourite vegetable is produced - claim

UK CONSUMERS could be better informed about how their food is produced, according to Antonia Walker, Bayer’s campaign manager for potatoes. 

A disconnection from the land and how it is farmed means too many consumers don't appreciate what goes in to producing their food, Antonia states in a recent blog.

"It is reckoned that in the UK we are five generations removed from the land while in France, it is only three," she says, going on to add: "This is a challenge facing all sectors of agriculture and horticulture and is one reason why initiatives such as Open Farm Sunday are important to promoting greater engagement with society, but more needs to be done. 

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"There is a misguided perception that the potato is ‘fattening’. Busting this myth would help consumers to appreciate the nutritional value of potatoes while supporting consumption of a healthy source of carbohydrate and fibre."

Grocery retailers play a vital role in promoting understanding but retailers and consumers also need to understand that systems must change and the industry is not renowned for delivering clear messages, she states.

"A sign of progress would be a change in retailer attitudes to varieties. For too long we have encouraged a move away from those varieties that are input heavy to those with better resistance to pests and disease, but this message is still not reaching the consumer," said Antonia. "Retailers could also do more to develop packaging solutions that protect product shelf-life both in the store and at home. This will reduce wastage and challenge the perception that potatoes are an unhealthy source of nutrients."

Photo: Fernanda Martinez

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