The potato brings people together

An intensive two weeks exchange with potato experts from all over the world gives Trias partners new insights and energy to improve their value chain.

Trias promotes peer-to-peer exchanges between farmer entrepreneurs and their organizations all over the world. By doing this, we aim to promote learning and open new opportunities for collaboration between partners, stakeholders and other actors from different countries. With these experience exchanges, but also trade missions and participation in international events, Trias contributes to strengthening the capacities of partner organizations.

At the end of May, 3 potato grower organizations – AGROPAPA from Ecuador, AGROPIA from Peru and ZODFA from Uganda – came to Belgium to participate in this innovative peer-to-peer learning experience to exchange knowledge, technologies and experiences in all the steps of the potato value chain: from production, seed potatoes, climate smart agriculture, over transformation and added value, to market access and fair trade consumers.

During the first week in Belgium they visited various private companies, like Agristo, Waltson, Pattyn Packaging, as well as the research institute ILVO and the technical school VTI Torhout. The visit to farmers of Boerenbond, Dirk Ryckaert and Paul Saelens, contributed more insights and knowledge on potato growing and selling from a farmers´ perspective. A visit to the organic farm, Groen te Kracht, allowed for more discussion on the opportunities and challenges of biological farming. The cherry of the pie was a networking event at in Breydel on 25 May, where the delegation of Peru, Ecuador and Uganda had been invited. Partners like Rotary Torhout, Agristo, Waltson, Breydel and VTI Torhout enjoyed the evening and received feedback directly from Trias’ partners about their advances in their organizations, respecting potato production, transformation and added value into chips, new markets and the implementation of the sponsored equipment in Agropapa, Conpapa and Coopagros.

Agropapa and Agropia brought their self-produced native colored Andean potato chips to Belgium, to offer their product to the Belgian consumer during a tasting moment at the Oxfam Wereldwinkel Fairtrade store in Leuven, which was a success for both producers and consumers.

During the second exchange week, the delegation participated in the World Potato Congress (WPC) in Dublin, Ireland, where their presence was remarkable to all attendees, due to the colorful stand and well-performed presentation, together with Agricord. In the WPC, Trias as well as our partners took advantage to promote our work, to connect with other stakeholders, organizations and companies, and to sell our expertise and look for  cooperation and future collaboration.

Thanks to our Trias ambassador Romain Cools, the president of the WPC, Trias and the farmer organizations could benefit from the wide network of potato stakeholders that were present at the event. Important new contacts and networks were created.

New doors and opportunities were opened for Trias and our partners, the potato organizations in Uganda, Peru and Ecuador, to work and learn together!