Due to their mutual dependency, the EU potato starch industry has built its sustainability on the special relationship with its 15,000 famers.
Security of revenue and of supply across the value chain are sustained by the fact that more than 95% of the starch potato production in Europe is contractualised. In addition, the majority of the starch potato sector is run by cooperatives, which have the growers as members. Cooperatives organise the commercialisation of their various outputs and allow for pooling of resources on, for example, research and development on sustainability challenges including reduction of pesticide use.
In their multifunctional biorefineries, starch operators valorise every fraction of the potatoes they process. Every harvest is fully processed into starch and valuable co-products used in food and industrial applications, such as proteins and fibres, which are directed to animal feed. Waste is used for renewable energy generation by digestion to biogas.