Industry sources demand urgent government action to prevent illegally-imported potatoes bringing pests and diseases into East Anglia. Warnings were raised in a national farming magazine last month that 1,000 tons of 'small ware' Agria potatoes have been imported as uncertified seed potatoes for spring planting in west Norfolk, south Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire. This would be a breach of biosecurity rules, following the post-Brexit ban on importing seed potatoes into the UK.
A government plant health spokesman said they would pursue ‘robust action’ against any infringements as ‘the biosecurity risk of such practices cannot be overstated’.
But sources say time is running out, as prosecuting people after the crops were planted was ‘similar to bolting the barn door after the horse has run away’.