UK seed ban: Potato growers working hard to restore EU market

The Scottish seed potato industry has harnessed willing buyers in Europe to support their efforts to get the European Commission to re-think its current ban on the importation of UK seed stocks – yet the chances of success remain 50/50, according to a report by The Scotsman.

Speaking at yesterday’s SAC Association of Potato Producers (SACAPP) on-line conference, Patrick Hughes, head of potato export development with AHDB said that the issue was on the agenda to be discussed at a high level meeting in Brussels this week – although no decision was likely to be given until next month.

“Part of the fall-out from Brexit, Europe has effectively banned the importation of UK seed potatoes and while negotiations are underway to get recognition for high health status Scottish seed, Defra could only lodge an application to begin discussions on the issue after the transition period ended on January 1.”

Hughes said that while ware potatoes had been granted third country equivalence to allow the continuation of exports to the EU, seed potatoes were considered in a higher risk category – as they would be used for further multiplication on mainland Europe and Northern Ireland – and as such the UK’s refusal to accept dynamic alignment with Europe had resulted in the effective ban.

Source: The Scotsman. Read the full report here