Brexit won't affect seed potato exports to China

    Chinese delegation confirms UK seed potato exports to the world's most populous country won't be affected either Brexit outcome. (Courtesy: ED LEAHY | Fresh Produce Journal)

    British seed potatoes will continue to be accepted by Chinese customs whatever the outcome of Brexit, according to AHDB.

    A delegation from China's General Administration of the Customs visited Scotland’s leading seed potato industry, while on a tour of the UK. According to AHDB the tour confirmed that seed potato imports from Britain would be welcomed into China whatever the outcome.

    The seed potato industry is one of the most vulnerable produce sectors to a no-deal Brexit, as the EU does not accept seed imports from third countries. As one of the UK's largest and most successful produce exports, seed producers fear that any hard barrier with the EU would leave significant surplus of stock, which could lead to price collapses.

    As well as visiting SASA, where the focus was on seed potato production, nuclear stock and diagnostics and testing, Mr Long Zhang and Mr Zhiping Su spent time with Perth-based potato inspectors to find out more about the inspection processes. They also visited Caithness Potatoes to check out the grading facilities, as well as to view the growing crop.

    Phil Hadley, AHDB international director:

    “It was a successful joint visit, and the Mr Zhang and Mr Su were able to confirm that the seed industry will still be able to export to China after Brexit as all their regulations refer to Europe rather than the European Union.”

    “It can be a challenging market, but there is a strong interest in GB seed in China, and I’m sure some businesses will be looking to exploit that.”