The EU ban on the germ inhibitor Chlorprofam is disastrous for Dutch potato exporters. Teun Paarlberg of exporter G. Sevenhuysen VOF from Warmenhuizen argues that. "There are still a few alternatives in potato storage, but not for potatoes that go into the container. This ban is a major problem not only for consumption potatoes, but also for oversized seed potatoes."
Exporters have been treating potatoes that go to distant destinations for many years with liquid Chlorine IPC, so that it is kept in a germ-inhibiting state. This year it was decided that Chloroprofam may no longer be used in the EU from 1 October 2020. "That is a problem for the depositories but even more so for the exporters.
The treatment must be replaced with an alternative within 4 to 6 weeks after the fall away of Chlorprofam. Ventilation can only take place around 48 hours after treatment. That can be done in the potato storage space, but not in containers that are being shipped. There is no container shipping company that will open the ventilation hatches 48 hours after a treatment for the exporter.
"If this really continues, then we will have a major problem around this time next year and potato exports will be in danger," Teun expects. He has therefore placed his hopes in a solid lobby from the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality to undo this ban.
"Already a number of initiatives have been taken in collaboration with the Dutch Potato Organization, such as setting up a project with Wageningen University & Research to show, through tests, that Chlorprofam has no alternative in the case of overseas exports. The bitterness is that the ban purely applies to Europe. No-one outside the EU is interested in a Cloorprofam ban. In other parts of the world, it can simply be used in the absence of a good alternative."
"If we do not get an exception to this prohibition, we as a potato exporter have a major problem. It could potentially threaten 103 years of history and the acquired purveyor of the Royal Household. This cannot be the truth ," concludes Teun indignantly.
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