The British Potato Trade Association (BPTA) has sent out a written message to its membership, warning against the potential use of imported ware potatoes as seed potatoes in the UK. Due to complications following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, there has been a lack of access to imported seed potato supplies from the EU since, save for exceptions on a case-by-case basis.
While there are no current shortages of seed potatoes, specific frying varieties such as Sagitta, Ramos and Agria may be harder to obtain than in previous years.
There is still a protocol in place that allows the movement of ware potatoes in between Britain and the EU, however the movement of seed potatoes is banned.
Sandy McGowan, president of the BPTA, warns the temptation may therefore exist for small quantities to be imported in Great Britain. “To source ware potatoes from Europe and then to plant them is something that could be deemed as illegal. You are also then entering into a risk of plant health. Risking diseases such as ring rot and ground rot, which are quarantined diseases. These can have wider-reaching issues for the surrounding area,” McGowan said.