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Export vital for Scottish seed potato business

August 15, 2011
Securing the recent growth in Scottish seed potato exports was as important as looking to develop new markets, Mark Prentice, the Potato Council's head of seed and export told growers at Potatoes in Practice held near Dundee.

Total seed exports had smashed through the 100,000t barrier after a 10-12% increase over the past two years, he said. "It is a real success story for the potato industry. We have seen significant increases in tonnages being exported, but we need to protect that growth."

Around three-quarters of those exports were to non-European Union destinations, with 75% heading to just three countries: Egypt, Israel and Morocco.

But there were significant challenges in maintaining exports, said Robert Burns, potato export liaison officer for the Scottish government agency, Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA), such as frequent changes in importing conditions of the receiving countries, often tightening restrictions or bringing in new legislation.
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AHDB Potatoes (formerly known as Potato Council) is a public body working on behalf of potato growers and purchasers to promote British potatoes.