Potato seed and ware exports from the UK could be interrupted in a Brexit no deal scenario and there are signs that seed potato growers are looking to export potatoes before the transition period ends on December 31, writes Marianne Curtis in an article published by Farmers Guardian.
Patrick Hughes, AHDB head of export trade development – potatoes, explains: “At the moment we don’t have third country equivalence and if there is no deal, it will not be in the offing straightaway. This would stop all exports of potatoes to the EU – both seed and ware.”
Currently 20,000 tonnes of seed potatoes are exported annually from the UK to the EU and 35,000 tonnes are imported to the UK from the EU. “Defra has indicated that in the case of seed exports to the EU, if they were stopped it would reciprocate and not allow EU seed potatoes to come into the UK, but for ware potatoes we don’t yet know the situation.
“It is quite an alarming prospect at the moment and I am not sure all the industry is aware of the potential scenarios.” AHDB is planning to host webinars on how Brexit will affect the UK potato trade on November 3 and 4, says Mr Hughes.
Marianne Curtis can be reached on Twitter https://twitter.com/Arable_Marianne