Branston to Help Peruvian Potato Farmers in International Year of the Potato

Future generations of Peruvian farmers are set to benefit from a generous Christmas present made by the UK's leading potato producer.

Lincoln, United Kingdom, December 21, 2007 --( The UK’s leading potato producer, Branston Ltd, has marked the start of the International Year of the Potato by donating £9,000 to establish a Potato Park, in the south of the country, near Cuzco, to help the repatriation of potatoes native to Peru.

The International Year of the Potato was officially launched at the United Nations headquarters in New York last month. Its aim is to raise awareness of the important role potatoes play around the world in overcoming hunger and poverty.

Potatoes originated in Peru, with the Spanish bringing them to Europe in the 1500s. Since then the Peruvian potato industry has suffered significant decline due to disease, changes in government policy, a move away from traditional farming techniques and the effects of large scale conflict.

Thanks to Branston Ltd’s donation and the efforts of the International Potato Centre in Lima, specialised facilities for the development and propagation of potatoes will be constructed early next year.

These facilities will provide Peruvian potato experts with the equipment they need to cultivate some 300 varieties of potatoes, all of which are on the verge of extinction. Once re-established, the seed of these rare potatoes will be distributed among the Potato Park farmers who can once again start growing some of the world’s oldest types of potatoes.

Branston’s Dr David Nelson is behind the company’s donation. “Our company wouldn’t exist without the potato and the potato wouldn’t exist without the people of Peru,” he says. “This project gives something back to the communities who gave to the world one of its most versatile and nutritious foods and which remains, even today, such an important centre of genetic diversity.

“Branston’s donation and the building of the Potato Park appears to be kick-starting a number of other initiatives within the Potato Park communities including a Potato Museum and specialist restaurants serving traditional potato based dishes. The region is already well visited by tourists on their way to nearby Machu Pichu, and the history of development of the humble potato could well form part of many tourist itineraries in the years ahead.”

The International Year of the Potato runs until the end of September 2008. For more information about the year, visit

For further information about Branston please visit the company’s website or


Issued on behalf of Branston by Lava. For further information please contact Matt Hammerton at Lava on 01522 842 800 / 07870 567 968 or or

Note to editors:
Branston Ltd is the UK’s leading supplier of potatoes. The company was established in 1968 and has grown rapidly and now supplies two thirds of the fresh potatoes found in Tesco. The company also provides potatoes to other retailers and wholesalers as well as owning the Real Potato Company.

Branston Ltd has three sites in the UK: Branston, Lincolnshire; Abernethy in Scotland and Seavington St Michael in Somerset.
Lava PR
Matt Hammerton