The potato industry should ditch its defensive PR campaigns and start putting out more positive messages, according to a leading pharmaceutical and agrochemical adviser.

"The agrochemical industry in general is very supine about how it presents itself to the public," said Sir Colin Berry, speaking at a British Potato Council conference in Harrogate last week. "It defends itself against accusations of toxicity but never builds an argument that is more than rational and regulatory. That approach doesn't win hearts and minds.

"Positive messages about potatoes will achieve far more than a defence of any perceived downsides."