The new Potato Sustainability Alliance is building on an earlier industry initiative to tell the story of how growers feed the nation responsibly.
“Ten years ago, a group of potato processors, farmers, distributors and a major restaurant chain collaborated to create the Potato Sustainability Initiative,” Ed Schneider, owner of Schneider Farms, Pasco, Wash., said in a news release. “As consumer demand grows for more sustainability from food systems to feed the world in a safe and responsible manner, there is a growing need for the industry to engage with a more diverse set of players to advance and communicate potato sustainability.”
Laura Scandurra, executive director for the Potato Sustainability Alliance, said the group will build on the earlier initiative with the addition of fresh packers, agribusinesses, and environmentally focused organizations.
“It was clear that we needed to evolve into a roundtable format and expand our membership to advance a common vision of potato sustainability and deliver outcomes at scale,” she said in the release.
The alliance is a platform for farmers, supply chain partners, industry organizations, non-governmental organizations, universities and advisors to work together to define, measure and advance potato sustainability in the U.S. and Canada, according to the release.
Members of the alliance, including 550 U.S. and Canadian farmers, are committed to ongoing improvement in sustainable potato production, according to the release.
Potato Sustainability Alliance board of directors includes growers, processors, fresh packers and buyers, according the release. The alliance will be inviting board representation from environmental organizations this year, according to the release.
Officers of the Potato Sustainability Alliance are:
- John MacQuarrie, director of environmental sustainability for Cavendish Farms, Jamestown, N.D., chairman;
- Jolyn Rasmussen, senior manager for raw product development and sustainability for the J.R. Simplot Co., Boise, Idaho, vice-chairwoman;
- Sanford Gleddie, vice president of agriculture, sales, marketing and global business development for The Little Potato Co., Edmonton, Alberta, treasurer; and
- Ed Schneider, owner of Schneider Farms, Pasco, Wash., secretary.
“It is an honor to be elected as the chair to lead the alliance’s board of directors,” MacQuarrie, director of environmental sustainability with Cavendish Farms, said in the release. “The Potato Sustainability Alliance is well positioned to play a leadership role in advancing sustainability and we are excited about the prospect for enhanced engagement and collaboration across the value chain.”