Romain Cools Succeeds David Thompson as WPC President

After 17 years on the World Potato Congress (WPC) board of directors, serving as president for the last five years and as vice president for 12 years before that, David Thompson has stepped down as president and chief executive officer. However, he will remain on the board of directors.

Replacing him at the helm is Romain Cools, secretary general of Belgapom, the Union of Belgian Potato Trade and Processing Industry. Bringing 26 years of knowledge of the potato industry to the job, the first European president of the WPC has demonstrated a strong commitment to the advancement and sustainability of the potato in the global environment.

presidents of wpcRomain Cools (far left), the new head of the World Potato Congress, confers with former WPC Presidents Allan Parker, Lloyd Palmer and David Thompson.

Cools, who resides in Lokeren, Belgium, has been involved with the WPC board of directors since 2006 and for the past three years has served as vice president. He is the co-founder of the Belgian Food and Plant Safety and Sustainability scheme “Vegaplan,” and serves as a board member of the Belgian Food Industry Association and chairman of the UNIZO Agro-food platform.”

The WPC Inc. is a non-profit organization established to bring together global potato industry leaders with the objective of creating networking, increased trade and business development opportunities. Its 10th triennial World Potato Congress will be held from May 27-31 in Cusco, Peru. Registration information is available at