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UK seed potato industry sets new export record

The UK seed potato industry is on a high as Potato Council has announced another record year for seed exports, with this year’s figures surpassing 103,000 tonnes.

“This year, despite the testing conditions experienced by growers, we have achieved another record for our exports of seed potatoes,” says Potato Council head of seed and export Rob Burns, who has recently returned from a successful Potato Europe.

“Key areas of growth have been the North African countries and the Middle East, thanks in part to careful development of seed potatoes to ensure great results in varying climatic conditions. This is really exciting news as these markets are developing, and should show important growth in the coming years.”

Mr Burns attributes the success to the professionalism of exporters, combined with Potato Council’s work with overseas governments to help smooth the path for international import conditions. Independent specialist advice from Mylnefield Research and from Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA) plus support from the Scottish government is also key to achieving a strong export position for varieties from GB.

“Moreover, by establishing an important presence at targeted international events such as Potato Europe and Fruit Logistica, we are helping our exporters to enjoy a higher profile for a modest cost when they share the stand with us. At Potato Europe this year, we again achieved a significant increase in footfall on our stand, which will further help our exporters to build trade.”

Potato Council assists importers and exporters by working closely with the authorities in importing countries, so importers can have confidence that their high quality seed potatoes will arrive in good time, adds Mr Burns. British seed potatoes are successfully produced for fresh and processed markets in countries as diverse as Egypt, South America and Asia.

“Our success in the export markets is mainly due to a winning combination of professionalism, teamwork and offering the different markets what they need, with timely delivery assured,” he concludes.


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