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Pre Basic Growers Association writes Defra requesting to re-engage with the EU on seed potato exports

The Pre Basic Growers Association is an Association of more than 40 seed potato growers (mostly in Scotland) who produce the early generations of high grade seed potatoes (pre basic seed). The aim of the Association is to maintain the highest standards of seed potato production and its members underpin the UK’s seed potato industry.

The Association has written to Defra asking them to re-engage with the EU on seed potato exports, with the aim of establishing reciprocal trade in seed between the EU and the UK. The Association is pressing for the prohibition of seed potato imports from the EU by 1 July if reciprocal trading cannot be agreed. Seed imports from the EU are around 28,000 tonnes. The Association is of the view that any shortfall in seed due to a prohibition on imports into the UK can be offset by UK seed production.

Seed potato sales to the EU represent a significant proportion of annual income for many UK seed growers and for some they represent by far the greater proportion of their business. Export markets have been built up over many years and markets lost now will be very difficult to retrieve. Some growers face a significant loss of business and for some the future of their businesses is threatened.

Seed exports from the UK to the EU were prohibited by the EU following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, though seed imports from the EU to the UK were to continue. A request for equivalence in respect of seed potato imports, which would have allowed trade in seed in both directions, was turned down by the EU in January.

To download the letter to DEFRA, please click here.

For more information:
James Thorburn
Pre Basic Growers Association
Email: james@farewellfarms.co.uk 


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