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Potatoes USA RTM Pic 1This week, Potatoes USA hosted a large group of eighty-three retail and foodservices representatives from twelve different countries in Washington State. Representatives from Burma, Central America, China, Dubai, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwán, Thailand, and Vietnam made their way to Washington to learn all about the benefits of U.S. potatoes.

Potatoes USA RTM pIC 2We started the tour in Othello at the WSU Research facility with a great presentation from researchers Mark Pavek, Jacob Blauer and Tim Waters. Then the group headed out to the field to see potato planting and enjoy some fries in the field with the Washington State Potato Commission (WSPC) fry van, which was a big hit. The representatives had an opportunity to meet and engage with growers that evening at dinner at Tagaris Winery and enjoy a meal with Washington potatoes on the menu.

On day two of the tour, they learned about irrigation, rotation crops, and growing in the Columbia Basin followed by a tour of a seed cutting facility. They also learned about and experienced firsthand the wind in the area. In the afternoon, the representatives that did business with Simplot visited their plant in Othello while representatives who utilized McCain toured their Othello facility.

On Wednesday morning, the group was able to stay indoors where it was a bit warmer and hear more presentations about the quality of U.S. potatoes. In the afternoon, they met with a small group of vendors at a trade show. This included some WSPC staff with information on how they can secure Washington product to their countries.

Potatoes USA RTM Pic 4On Thursday, the group that conducted business with Lamb Weston headed to their plant for a tour. From there, they headed back to the Seattle area to tour the port where they learned about our ability to export easily from Washington to other countries. They finished their week visiting Pike Place Market, which is a must when in Seattle. The group was highly engaged and had many great questions about the types of potatoes, both fresh and processed, we had to offer here in Washington state and the ease of exportation to their countries. This being our first RTM in Washington after COVID, Potatoes USA did a spectacular job, and WSPC was happy to be a part of it while making some great connections for our growers.




Thursday, 20 April 2023