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Great concerns about EU seed potato trade with the UK

At this point in time, an agreement between the EU and the UK on the mutual trade in seed potatoes does not seem imminent. However, if no agreement is reached on the phytosanitary preconditions for import and export, the export of seed potatoes from EU countries to the UK might be closed on 1 July. This is what Dick Hylkema, director of the Dutch Potato Organization (NAO) fears, according to an article published by the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality.

The NAO is the trade association for companies trading in seed and ware potatoes in the Netherlands. Many of its members export goods both within and outside the EU, including to the United Kingdom. Of course, this means that Brexit has been high on the organization’s agenda for several years.

The December Brexit deal was broadly welcomed by the Dutch agri-food sector. The business community would rather not have Brexit at all, but with the December deal the disaster was manageable. In any case, import duties and trade quotas were canceled.

However, the seed potato sector has come off poorly, says NAO director Hylkema: “In one way or another, seed potatoes have fallen outside the trade agreement. In fact, there is a tough Brexit for this segment of the potato sector. Free trade in seed potatoes is of vital importance, especially for breeding. That is not the case now."

“The Netherlands in particular is troubled by border problems, given the size of the mutual seed potato trade.”

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