Uncertainty over seed potato trade with Russia

The seed potato trade with Russia is hanging in the balance as growers weigh up all the competing factors.

In recent years the trade, although difficult, has become important as a replacement for Scottish business lost thanks to the ban on exports to the EU. Trade sources are remaining quiet as they weigh up the moral issue of supplying the aggressor in the Ukrainian invasion with planting material. They will also on practical level have to consider the risks involved. Finding ships willing to visit Russian ports will not be easy and payment could be difficult to secure and much devalued if it is in roubles. To date however such exports would not impinge on any UK sanctions over dealing with Russia. The Scottish Government is taking an ambivalent position by encouraging its agencies not to support any export activity but admitting that seed labels and phytosanitary certification would be provided if need be. A spokesperson said: “We have made clear that both the Scottish Government and its economic agencies will use all available powers not to support trade and investment activity with Russia, and we call on businesses to do the same.

“Where a company makes the decision to export any plants or other plant products from Scotland, Scottish Government officials are required to carry out various activities in relation to this, including the inspection and certification of goods.”

Source: FGInsight