Within the framework of the negotiations for a new partnership between the EU and the United Kingdom, Europatat, the association that brings together the EU's potato industry, has sent a position paper to the EU-UK negotiating team, as well as the relevant officials of DG AGRI and DG SANTE, to request that the European Commission prioritize the amendment of current EU legislation to include the United Kingdom as one of the third countries from which the EU can import seeds and potatoes for consumption.
Europatat members are very concerned about the future of potato trade between the EU-27 member states and the United Kingdom. With a local production of approximately 5.5 million tons of fresh potatoes and seeds (representing approximately 10% of the total production of the EU-28), the United Kingdom imports around 255,000 tons (112 million Euro annually) of fresh potatoes or seeds, and around 191,000 tons (84 million Euro) come from the EU-27 countries.
This means that for the EU-27, the volume/value of fresh and seed potatoes shipped to the United Kingdom represents about 12% of the total in terms of volume and 13% in terms of value. Meanwhile, for the United Kingdom, these imports represent 75% of the total, both in terms of volume and value.
As for the UK's exports (totaling about 295,000 tons and 138 million Euro), they mostly consist of potato seeds, with almost 70% of the volume (around 205,000 tons) and 60% of the value (84 million Euro).
Therefore, according to Europatat, it is of the utmost importance for the sector that the negotiations lead to the most stable situation possible and that the EU-27 operators do not lose competitiveness in the UK and international markets.