Location: Vegetable Crops ResearchTitle: Case study: Healthy grown potatoes and sustainability of Wisconsin potato production Author
Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/1/2011
Publication Date: 2/1/2012
Citation: Bussan, A.J., Sexson-Knuteson, D., Colquhoun, J., Binning, L., Jansky, S.H., Jiang, J., Mitchell, P.D., Stevenson, W.R., Groves, R., Wyman, J., Ruark, M., Kelling, K. 2012. Case study: Healthy grown potatoes and sustainability of Wisconsin potato production. In: Popp, J.S., Jahn, M.M., Matlock, M.D., Kemper, N.P., editors. The Role of Biotechnology in a Sustainable Food Supply. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. p. 192-211. Interpretive Summary: Healthy Grown is an example of a management system derived to reach sustainability goals. It was only achieved through cooperation and collaboration between growers, environmental groups, and researchers to develop standards based on science. For this example, sustainability has been broken down into three components. The success of implementing Healthy Grown has been to identify goals for addressing environmental, economic, and social concerns. Even though successes have been achieved in meeting production standards, challenges remain in the marketing of Healthy Grown. The primary lesson from the Healthy Grown program is the importance of close working relationships with retailers and end users. Partnerships with retailers, processors, and others in the value chain are critical to gain access in the market place. Consumer preference is only part of the equation regarding purchase decisions. Retailers, distributors, and processors must manage risk, turnover, and competition with other stores in produce purchasing decisions. Produce buyers and other retail managers regulate availability to consumers. The future of Healthy Grown’s success will require partnerships with producer buyers and raw product managers in the retail and processing sectors. Similarly, GE crops must be acceptable to consumers, retailers, food service, processors, and other key partners. Focusing on traits with consumer benefits rather than production benefits could improve market acceptance.
Technical Abstract: The Wisconsin Eco-Potato collaboration developed after several meetings between the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) and World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Representatives met at the National Potato Council meeting and identified a common interest in development of environmentally friendly farming systems. Collaboration activities evolved as an experiment in large scale, reduced pesticide agriculture that adopted production practices identified as desirable by consumers. Future standards are under development for reduced fumigation, improved water quality and maintenance of quantity, and enhanced socio-economic metrics. On-farm research is essential for ensuring standard practices meet desired outcomes and to assess cost and risk of implementing the system for the grower.