Ten years ago, in July 2001, the National Potato Council (NPC), United States Potato Board (USPB), and seven state potato grower organizations joined together to form the Phytosanitary Initiative, dedicated to opening new markets for US fresh and seed potato exports. Prior to that, these same potato grower organizations joined with frozen potato processors, dehydrators and quick service restaurants to form the American Potato Trade Alliance (APTA), dedicated to addressing trade barriers on processed potato products. In addition to providing new markets for US potato growers, both the Phytosanitary Initiative and APTA help to coordinate industry priorities on international market access issues for US potatoes and products.
The result has been that opportunities for US potato exports have grown substantially in the last decade. In 2000, the US exported 988,000 metric tons of potato products worth $766 million. In 2010, the US exported 1.3 million metric tons of potatoes worth $1.2 billion. This is an increase of 29% in volume and 63% in value over ten years.