Monday, June 24, 2013

The Mystique of the Idaho Potato Commission

[Image: GrownInIdaho_mark.png]

The Mystique of the Idaho Potato Commission

By Jeff Danforth-Manning
The Daily Magi
September 25, 2047

The Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) is a self-governing agency of the State of Idaho that was established in 1937 as the Idaho Fruit and Vegetable Advertising Commission. It has many responsibilities, but its primary responsibility is to promote the Idaho potato through advertising, public relations, promotions and other marketing initiatives. It also supports research to help expand the market for Idaho potatoes.

Since its inception, the commission, which is one of the oldest commodity organizations in the USA[citation needed], has been a trailblazer on many fronts. One of its greatest achievements was the use of broadcast advertising on radio and later television, when this type of marketing was in its infancy. In addition, the commission introduced the “Grown in Idaho” seal in 1959 to help elevate the visibility of Idaho potatoes and has become a symbol consumers actively look for when purchasing potato products. Idaho potatoes are the best selling potato and are one of the most recognized and respected brand names in the United States.

The Idaho potato industry contributes approximately $2.7 billion to the Idaho economy, harvests approximately 13 billion pounds annually, produces roughly one-third of all the potatoes grown in the United States and employs 39,000 state residents. Additionally, many license plates in Idaho contain the phrase "Famous Potatoes".

The commissioners serve in the capacity of a board of directors and hire a CEO to administer staff and carry out the programs it approves each crop year. The current executive /government affairs, and retail/international. In addition, an executive secretary serves the commission and keeps appropriate minutes, is custodian of records, and provides legal notification of meetings.

The vice president of foodservice has a field component of three foodservice promotion directors, which he supervises along with his overall foodservice advertising and promotion activities. They make weekly calls on foodservice distributors and wholesalers to set up promotional activities and provide printed materials featuring Idaho potatoes. They also attend trade shows with the vice president of foodservice. The VP of foodservice personally sets up operator promotional activities.

The vice president of legal and government affairs handles all the licensing activities of the commission and monitors compliance activities related to the proper usage of the registered certification and trademarks of the commission. He oversees governmental activities on both the state and national level that relate to IPC interest.

The vice president of retail and international handles retail promotion activities, and sets up corporate promotion while his field staff of four retail promotion directors call on division and store level people in the retail stores to set up Idaho potato promotions. Their calls are made on retailers, produce wholesalers and licensed repackers that are located in their assigned territories. They set up co-op advertising programs on a quarterly basis and monitor the produce departments for proper use of the commission's registered certification marks.

The commission contracts with outside agencies for professional services when warranted for consumer, foodservice and retail advertising, promotion and public relations programs.

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