International Sweet Potato Week – taking place March 14 to 24 – will put the spotlight on the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany and Poland.
An initiative of the North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission and the American Sweet Potato Marketing Institute, the week is designed to convince more consumers, chefs and culinary journalist to cook with sweet potatoes.
During the week, a wide range of information, including recipes, cooking methods and facts about sweet potatoes, will be shared via social media.
In the Netherlands and Belgium, the week will kick off with the attendance of the Agricultural Attache of the US Embassy in the Netherlands, Susan Philips.
Over the course of the week, importers, supermarkets, greengrocers and restaurants will give the sweet potato some extra attention in their displays and offer special prices for sweet potatoes as an added incentive for consumers to try them.
Sweet potatoes are rich in fibre, vitamins and beta-carotene, and are a diverse vegetable suited to consumption in different ways throughout the day, “from breakfast till dessert,” the weeks’ organisers say.
Last year, imports of American Sweet Potatoes into Europe rose 35% on 2014, and with their increasing popularity In Europe, as in the US, are expected to increase further this year. Thankfully, the storms which raged over the US did not cause as much damage as supply of this product is actually set to increase. According to recent figures from the USDA, the 2015/2016 sweet potato planted area is up 14%, and the harvest will be 5% above that of the previous season.