Ireland’s potato traders have been warned to have all seed potatoes for next year’s crop imported from Britain by December 31. According to a trade notice issued by the Department of Agriculture, imports of “certified seed and ware potatoes” from Britain will be prohibited from the end of 2020 when the UK leaves the EU.
The notice 'strongly encouraged' importers to have all seed potatoes and ware from Britain landed in Ireland before January 1.
In Ireland, approximately 8,500ha of potatoes are planted each spring, with the country harvesting 350,000-400,000 tons annually. However, Ireland imports 5,500-6,000 tons of certified seed potatoes. In addition, between 80,000 tons and 100,000 tons of ware potatoes are imported from Britain each year. These are primarily for the fresh chip market, as well as some salad potatoes, and peeled product for the service trade.
Independent.ie reports how Scotland supplied 60 percent of Ireland’s imported seed potatoes last year, with 18 percent coming from Northern Ireland, and a further 10 percent from England. The remainder come from Europe. Around 4,000-4,500 tons of seed potatoes are grown locally, with the remainder harvested by growers themselves from the main crop.