Surge in demand for prime home-grown seed potatoes

Seed potato exports from Britain are expected to break more records following a highly-successful season last year.

The Potato Council’s head of seed and export, Mark Prentice, is looking forward to a busy time at one of Europe’s biggest fresh produce events, Fruit Logistica, in Berlin next month.

“Last year we smashed through the 100,000 tonne barrier thanks to Britain’s growing reputation as a world-wide supplier of quality seed potatoes,” said Mr Prentice. “Over the past 10 years we have seen a 43% increase in trade that is a result of careful development of seed potato varieties to ensure great results in varying climatic conditions.

The home-grown seed potato crop is worth about �70m and exports of seed add another �25m, according to trade estimates.

Mr Prentice, added: “British seed potatoes are successfully produced for fresh and processed markets in countries as diverse as Egypt, South America and Asia. In addition, our exporters take great pride in maintaining high quality standards, ensuring customers come back year after year.”

Relations with the authorities in importing countries are also a priority and Potato Council assists importers and exporters by working closely with both to help smooth bureaucratic paths, so importers can have confidence that their potatoes will arrive in good time and in good condition.

“Our success in the export markets is mainly due to offering the different markets what they need, with timely delivery assured,” he added.