About

About the Irish Potato Federation

The Irish Potato Federation was set up to promote the interests of the wholesale potato trade in Ireland and to promote potato consumption. Today it consists of nine members, comprising potato wholesalers, packers, importers and exporters of both seed and ware potatoes. Collectively they manage and distribute a significant proportion of Ireland’s potato crops.

The Federation has been an active member of Europatat, the European Potato Trade Association, for over 40 years and is recognised by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and An Bord Bia (The Irish Food Board) as the official negotiating body on behalf of the wholesale potato trade in Ireland.

Current Members

Chairman

Michael Hoey

Vice Presidents

Peter Keogh
Colm McDonnell

Secretary

Willie Rooney

Company Contact Telephone Email
Sam Dennigan & Co. UC Joseph Dennigan 01 8010500 info@samdennigan.ie
Country Crest Ltd. Michael Hoey 01 8437061 info@countrycrest.ie
Meade Potato Co Ltd. Philip Meade Jnr. 046 9053198 info@meadepotato.com
IPM Potato Group Colm McDonnell 01 2135410 info@ipmpotato.com
K&K Produce Ltd. Thomas Kennedy 01 8347586 info@kkproduce.ie
Castlecor Potatoes ULC Edward English 022 48228 info@castlecorpotatoes.ie
PKS Farms Ltd. Peter Keogh 01 8433175 admin@keoghs.ie
O'Shea Farms Unlimited James O'Shea 051 643733 info@osheafarms.ie
Seed Potato Company Ltd. Maurice Matthews 01 8425055 des.cooney@seedpotato.ie

Former Presidents

Michael Bannigan
Sam Dennigan Snr.
Kevin Burke
Liam Glennon
Michael Hoey

Former Secretaries

Declan Gray
John Fitzgerald
Willie Rooney

History of the Federation

The Irish Potato Federation was founded in 1968 and its main founder members were: Irish Potato Marketing (IPM) Ltd; Donegal Seed Growers Association; The Irish Sugar Company and the Fruit Traders’ Association which at the time represented potato merchants. The first Chairman of the Federation was Mr. Michael Bannigan, a seed potato merchant based in Co. Donegal.

The main objective of the Federation was to promote the interests of its members, to represent the industry nationally at meetings with state agencies e.g. Department of Agriculture & Food, and also to keep its members fully briefed on the progress and implications of Ireland’s impending entry into the European Economic Community (EEC).

In 1977 the potato members of the Fruit Traders Association (FTA) formed the Potato Merchants’ Association of Ireland and replaced the FTA in the Federation. At this stage, 5 years after joining the EEC, the Federation became very active in the promotion of free trade between Ireland and the rest of Europe and helped break down barriers in trading to create the single market.

Also, around this time, through the efforts of Mr. Kevin Burke, CEO of IPM, the Irish Potato Federation became a member of Europatat, the European body which represented the European wholesale potato trade. The link with Europe was further strengthened with the hosting of four Europatat annual Congress meetings in Ireland, the first in 1974 in Dublin. Its success followed with another Congress in Killarney in 1983 under the Presidency of Mr. Sam Dennigan Snr. This Congress was also deemed a great success, the Congress dinner being addressed by the then Minister for Agriculture, Mr. Austin Deasy, TD. Following the next Europatat Congress in Dublin 1992, the most recent was again held in Killarney in 2005 and was officially opened by the Minister for Agriculture, Mary Coughlan, TD.

In 2008 Liam Glennon chaired the Irish International Year of the Potato Committee, when the potato was celebrated around the world as its fourth largest food crop.

In 2015 the Federation supported the “Potatoes – More than a Bit on the Side” campaign to promote potato consumption in Ireland and Great Britain. Managed and co-ordinated by Bord Bia in Ireland, the campaign kicked off on National Potato Day (2nd October) with a new website using the Federation’s original domain name of www.potato.ie and heavy usage of both print and social media. It focused advertising towards the 22-44 year age demographic where usage was lowest.

The campaign’s success was followed by a second campaign, launched in 2020 – “Potatoes, prepare to be surprised – Europe’s favourite since 1536”. This joint initiative, which is co-financed by the European Commission under the EU Promotion policy, along with Bord Bia, CNIPT, Europatat and VLAM, will run until December 2022. It will encourage the consumption of fresh potatoes among millennials via Instagram. The message of the campaign is clear: potatoes fit in a modern, healthy and sustainable lifestyle because they are tasty, versatile and have good nutritional and health benefits.

John J Burke’s book – Growing the Potato Crop – was written by the former Teagasc agronomist to promote and improve potato productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa.

It was supported by Vita and the Irish Potato Federation. This book provides African farmers and their agricultural advisers with a scientific guide on how to improve potato production. You are welcome to download it and share with your colleagues.

Download Book

The late John O’Shea working on behalf of the Irish Potato Federation in a potato field near Arba Minch, Ethiopia.

About Vita

Vita is an Irish based International organisation which supports the development of skills to support healthy and sustainable livelihoods in Ethiopia and Eritrea since 1989.

Vita supports vulnerable families and communities, teaching them to grow crops to feed their families, gain access to water and sustainable household energy.

The Irish potato Federation have supported Vita in the establishment of the potato as a viable crop in the horn of Africa.

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