HZPC’s Online Potato Days Showcases New Reality
The annual Potato Days is a networking event attracting hundreds of growers and customers from many countries. This year, many more interested visitors seized their chance to join the online Potato Days 2020, which took place live from a virtual studio. At least 1300 people from the entire potato chain met each other in an interactive online setting where they experienced the event together.
“Especially in these challenging times it is essential to stay in touch with our growers, customers and other partners,” said CEO Gerard Backx during the opening.
Communications Manager, Patrick Overwijk added: “This new format offers opportunities to communicate more directly with our various target groups in the coming years.”
With the theme ‘Let’s Connect’, the Potato Days facilitated interaction and dynamics between people from more than 90 different countries, working across the full width of the potato chain. Via the live chats that everyone could follow, but also during the various substantive break-out sessions and via the 1-on-1 chats with HZPC employees behind the scenes. An online poll showed that more than 40% of the participants were annual visitors. Around 20% occasionally visit and more than thirty percent grabbed the chance to be present for the first time at this accessible online edition.
HZPC invited key speakers for the plenary program, including Pedro Sousa of McDonalds, the famous young American farmer Eric Sannerud and Professor Martin van Ittersum of Wageningen University. Also Aviko Potato director Dick Zelhorst, who emphasized the importance of sustainable varieties, joined the program.
As a common thread, Potato Days Live highlighted the need for cooperation within the chain and the extent to which good and sustainable seed potatoes are at the basis of healthy potatoes that ultimately end up in the mouths of the world’s population, in whatever form. Innovation is therefore the main driver behind the seed potato business of HZPC, as well as cooperation with all partners in the chain.