July | August 2021

26 Aug 2021

1. Executive foreword 

The years 2020 and 2021, will go down in history as the years never to be forgotten. Everyone watched in shock and disbelief how a sub-microscopic infectious agent that replicates only inside the living cells of an organism turned the world on its ear. And… just this week, many South Africans watched in disbelief as the country was set alight by protesters and looters. The Durban Fresh Produce Market closed operations on Monday, 12 July 2021 as soon as the riots escalated to lawlessness and unruliness. As of 13 July 2021, retailers and banks had suspended operations in affected areas in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. Tragically, this poses a threat of household food security. One famous author and motivational speaker once wrote: “Calamities reveal your capabilities. Take note of this and when times are tough, prepare and shine.” This statement embodies the strength and resilience that the potato industry continues to exhibit in times of great crisis and turmoil.

Potatoes SA, in the spirit of preserving that which can be built on for the future, will continue to inspire consumers about the goodness of potatoes and the role potatoes play in bridging food security and keeping the nation healthy. With rising unemployment brought on by COVID-19, now is the time to think about food security like never before.

When I look at the disparities between the have and have nots, my heart sinks, for I know those deeply affected are at the receiving end of food availability. There is nothing dignified with begging for food – such a basic human need. What a travesty that as we slowly recover from the scourge of COVID-19 we also have to recognize that life will never be the same again for all. It is reported that 6 million people do not know where their next meal is going to come from. This estimate could be worse in the next five years.

Now is the time for industry to re-evaluate its position on the issue of food security and develop strategies for contributing positively to hunger, poverty, and unemployment.

Yours in potatoes,

Immaculate Zinde,
Potatoes SA: Marketing Manager

2. Letter from the editor

International speaker and academician Vineet Raj Kapoor said it all: “We can’t stop tomorrow from arriving by closing the door.” We, along with the global village at large, are in the clutches of a new dispensation due to a global pandemic in our midst. As the seasons change and the third-wave peaks, it is comforting to know that South Africa’s most loved vegetable, the humble spud, continues to thrive. It is always fresh, always in season.

In the midst of all the uncertainties, South Africans can rest assured that fresh potatoes will remain available throughout the year. This staple remains committed to fighting food insecurity, and potato lovers can count on them being tasty, convenient and versatile – not to mention great value for money and promoting heart health. Potatoes can be enjoyed in many ways, tactfully snuck into kids’ meals and form part of a balanced meal. No matter the challenges and opportunities, it is reassuring to know that the farm to fork journey to feed our nation continues.

Your spud,

Phindiwe Nkosi
Potatoes SA: Marketing Specialist

3. Foodie Feature

From magazine cover-girl to gracing digital screens, Claire Allen needs no introductions among the South African foodie scenes. Potato Nation caught up with this dynamic wonder – who recently created an a-peeling batch of food videos for the spudnificant nation – to find out what is her favourite potato dish, her all-time favourite food and more!

Potato Nation (PN): What’s your favourite potato dish?
Claire Allen (CA): So, this is far from a secret as I tell anyone that will listen… My favourite food is potatoes! From the simple baked potato with butter and Aromat to roasted smashed potatoes with sour cream, or even my granny’s classic potato bake made with cream, onions and brown onion soup. I really do love how versatile potatoes are. I mean, the other vegetables aren’t even trying [lol]!

PN: How did you end up working/collaborating with Potato Nation?
CA: I have been very lucky to be a content creator for Potato Nation. I meet the team almost five years ago at the Good Food and Wine Show where I headlined. I was obviously drawn to Potato Nation’s stand for the free potato samples but loved that the organisation was created to educate the SA market on all the health benefits the simple potato offers but also sharing great recipe ideas, which I obviously wanted to be a part of.

PN: What sets your work apart from others?
CA: Hmmm… Delicious one-stop creative solution for brands. My team and I work very hard to not only ensure our recipes are on-trend, but we make sure we tap into our clients’ consumer market, what they have in their pantry, what are their family recipes and what is their budget. We then look at how we can take that info and turn it into a recipe that showcases our clients’ product(s) best. We go for what is tasty, easy to make and will make the consumer feel like a chef at home!

PN: Any last thoughts?
CA: I started my food career after entering Master Chef SA, but Hmmm Delicious was created as a fusion between my old career in events , marketing and production and my new career and authority in the food world. It has been a very interesting journey. Clients like Potato Nation make the long days, brainstorming and recipe testing all worth it. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to try every potato recipe out there?!

PN: How can our readers get hold of you?
CA: Please follow me on my social media platforms, signup for my newsletter and download my free e-cook book from www.claireallen.co.za.

Facebook: Claire AllenSa
Twitter: @claireallen_sa
Instagram: @claireallen_sa
Blog: www.foodislove.co.za
You Tube: Click here

4. Ask an Expert

Potatoes, colds and flu

These healthy eating and immune boosting tips will have your body saying “who?” when the flu comes knocking!

5. Video recipes

Classic potato salad

A timeless recipe with a modern spin.

6. Cyber-warfare

As South Africa tackles the third wave of the global pandemic – and lockdown levels encourage people to work from home – more emphasis is placed on the digital front than ever before. Despite several international travel bans still in place, the cyber realm dares to bridge the gap of reaching out to stakeholders even after traditional office doors have closed.

Yet in as much as Potatoes SA’s marketing team has been taking ground to accelerate our pulse of moving the potato industry forward even at such a time as this – cyber threats are real. Unfortunately, Potato Nation knows firsthand.

At the end of last year (2020), while promoting a digital marketing campaign with social media influencers to promote the taste, versatility, convenience, value for money and health aspects of potatoes – hackers penetrated Potato Nation’s Instagram account with approximately 14,000 followers. Following futile attempts to regain access, a new account was created.

Today, it is pleasing to note that Potato Nation has regained complete access to its hacked Instagram page. Unlike in the previous months, where followers were encouraged to unfollow this hacked account, please be sure to re-follow the page if you have not done so already.

Connect with Potato Nation!

Instagram: @potatoes_za
Facebook: @potatoesZA
Twitter: @potatoes_za
YouTube: Click here
Website: www.potatonation.co.za

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