Brexit has brought “great opportunities” for Irish seed potato growers, according to a Co Donegal farmer. Charlie Doherty, who is based in Burt, has been growing seed potatoes for 20 years. He has already sold out of this year’s stock and aims to increase his acreage this spring, reports Freya McClements in The Irish Times.
“I’ve already had more than twice as many inquiries,” he said, “and of course I’ve rung my normal buyers; they look after me so I would look after them.
The majority of seed potatoes used in Ireland are grown in Scotland. However, because of Brexit, seed potatoes can no longer be imported to European Union countries from the UK due to phytosanitary regulations.
Looking to the future, much depends on the outcome of the UK’s negotiations with the EU, and the timing of any deal. Many Irish potato growers anticipated the end of the Brexit transition period and imported their seed before January 1st.
If farmers in Britain can resume exports before the planting season begins, the situation is expected to largely return to normal. If not, the Donegal seed potato farmers could again see their product in high demand.
Source: The Irish Times. Read the full report here
Cover photo: Potato farmer Charlie Doherty on his farm in Burt, Co Donegal. Photograph: Joe Dunne