Industry bodies have welcomed news of the EU’s decision to grant third country status to the UK, a move which came as the UK was poised to sign a trade deal with the EU on Christmas Eve. However, concerns remain over the lack of detail in the announcement and its exclusion of the seed potato industry – a lucrative source of income for growers, and a key crop for Scottish growers, reports Henry Sandercock in an article published by The Grocer.
Third country status means the UK has met EU standards for animal health and biosecurity. Approval allows the UK to export meat, fish and dairy products, as well as plants and seeds, to the EU.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4 this morning (24 December), Minette Batters said it was now unlikely 4,000 tonnes of these potatoes – equivalent to £1.5m in value – would gain access to the EU by the end of 2020.
“Scottish seed is some of the best quality and safest, disease-free seed in the world. That’s just a well-known fact. So why the EU has pushed on with this import ban is beyond me,” said veg supplier Nationwide Produce’s group MD Tim O’Malley. He said he understood seed potato growers were “determined to continue to fight” to secure a compromise from the EU.
Source: The Grocer. Read the full article here