Romain Cools is the new president and CEO of the World Potato Congress, the first time that a European has helmed the organization. He is from Lokeren, Belgium.
After 26 years in the potato industry, Cools is well qualified for the position. He is currently the secretary general of Belgapom, the Union of Belgian Potato Trade and Processing Industry. He is the co-founder of the Belgian Food and Plant Safety and Sustainability scheme “Vegaplan.” He is also a Board Member of the Belgian Food Industry Association and Chairman of the UNIZO Agro-food platform.
His appointment is timely before the tenth triennial conference which will be held in Cusco, Peru from May 27-31. The program will focus on:
- Climate change and potato agri-food systems
- Trends in potato consumption and markets
- Potato variety development & biotechnology
- Potato pests and diseases
- Potato crop management
- Post harvest and processing technology
- Potato biodiversity and its relation to breeding, nutrition and health
The World Potato Congress is a non-profit organization established to bring together global potato industry leaders at triennial congresses, with the objective of creating networking, increased trade and business development opportunities.
The announcement was official January 1 as David Thompson, president has stepped down from the top position but remains on the board. Thompson has led the organization for the last five years from Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. He is widely known in Canadian circles for a life-long agricultural career.