The ban on the sprout inhibitor, chlorpropham (CIPC), is causing much controversy in the European potato industry. From January this year, potato companies may no longer purchase sprout inhibiting products that contain chlorpropham. These products may, however, still be used in the European Union (EU) until no later than 8 October this year. At least one CIPC manufacturer has voluntarily brought forward the use-by-date for the Dutch market to 31 July 2020.
In an article by Martine van der Wekken of FreshPlaza, the author writes that the discontinuation of the use of CIPC could lead to significant issues, especially for Dutch potato exports to far-away destinations, when these products have to remain in containers for about two weeks or even longer during transit.
Martine interviewed individuals at two Netherlands-based potato export companies, as well as Jan Gottschall, who is a policy specialist at the Dutch Potato Organization (NAO) for the purpose of the article.
“This concerns 200,000 tons of potatoes that go to third countries every year,” Jan Gottschall of NAO told Martine. “That amounts to a quarter of the country’s potato export volume. We therefore have a major problem. We have noticed that our members are seriously concerned about how to proceed. They fear the entire export amount to third countries will fall away.”
These potato exports from the Netherlands to third countries are valued at an estimate total of between €75 – €100 million.
Read the full article by Martine van der Wekken on FreshPlaza here
Photo: Westhoeve Potatoes, The Netherlands (FreshPlaza)