Scottish potato growers striving to restore EU market

The Scottish seed potato industry has found 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. Still, experts believe the chances of success are only 50/50.

Patrick Hughes, head of potato export development with the Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board (AHDB) has stated that the issue was on the agenda to be discussed at a high level meeting in Brussels this week.

“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.”

He said that while most orders for Europe had been hurried through by producers before the end of December, with seed growers likely to start sowing their crops for next season within the coming weeks, it was clear that time was running out for progress to be made.

According to, Hughes added that while repeat customers, keen to continue to access Scottish seed, had been helping the campaign, the chances of success are approximately 50/50.

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