|A British potato and onion storage system has been hailed as 'the greatest breakthrough in the seed potato sector' by judges at the PotatoEurope Conference 2009 in the Netherlands.
Restrain, the natural anti-sprouting system, won the prestigious PotatoEurope Innovation Award for 2009 in the face of stiff oppostion.
The award was announced during the conference, at Emmeloord, on 8 September 2009. Mr Dirk Garos, Restrain Company's Dutch representative, received the award from Mrs Renée Bergkamp, director-general for enterprise and innovation at the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs.
The Innovation Award judges base their decision on innovation, market potential and sustainability.
The Restrain Generator produces low levels of the natural ethylene gas to prevent potatoes from sprouting, leaving no residue on the tuber. After a full day's deliberation it was proclaimed the undisputed winner of the award. "This product is truly is a breakthrough," the judges commented. "It is very innovative: a natural and environmentally-friendly, anti-sprouting control is very necessary and welcome; it is something the entire potato sector has been waiting for."
Judges also noted that Restrain had been tested and approved by the Dutch Board for the Authorisation of Plant Protection Products and Biocides. Last but not least, they said, Restrain Generator has a comparable cost to traditional chemical anti-sprouting control. "In summary, it has a very positive influence on the processing of potatoes," they said.
Restrain Company's UK Manager James Thorburn commented: "We are utterly delighted to win this award. It's a boost for British technology and agriculture, especially since we were up against such strong competition from companies based on mainland Europe. It should also have a big impact on the Restrain System's export sales."