The potato is to get its own designated day in October off the back of a successful bid for EU funding.

A 4.75m three-year marketing campaign part-funded by the EU will finance an annual Potato Day in the UK, France and Belgium.

Under the initiative, the levy board of each country will match the money received from Europe. The Potato Council said it would use the UK's 810,000 share of the grant to push easy-to-prepare recipes, ads and promotions in the run-up to the first Potato Day, to be held on a yet-to-be-decided day in October.

The message will be that potatoes are a good source of vitamins and minerals, and that they contain less fat and fewer calories than rice and pasta.

"This grant is great news for the potato industry," said Caroline Evans, head of marketing and corporate affairs at the Potato Council.