Scottish seed potato exports are at record high, the Scottish Government’s Rural Affairs secretary Richard Lochhead has told delegates to the World Potato Congress in Edinburgh.
Mr Lochhead revealed that with another month of the season still to go, exports of seed potatoes to non-EU countries had already hit an all-time high of 77,277 tonnes – an increase of almost 70% since 2001-2002.
He said Scottish seed potato production was worth around £100 million and praised the hard work put in by exporters and growers as well as the “huge efforts” being made to maintain the country’s high-health reputation. Scottish produces 75% of UK seed potatoes.
“I’m pleased that Scottish potatoes remain free from serious diseases such as Dickeya, brown rot and ring rot, although we must remain vigilant,” he said.
Robert Burns, the Potato Council’s Head of Seed and Exports, added: “We have a first class potato industry with a truly global reputation. The unique partnership of Government, Potato Council and our trade members has allowed our industry to flourish and we are now seeing the dividends in the year on year increases in export tonnages.”