Defra’s decision not to extend the derogation which allowed seed potatoes from Europe into the UK while Scottish growers were banned by the EU from trade in the opposite direction has been widely welcomed in the sector, according to a news report by The Scotsman.
But while the “both ways or no ways” decision on such trade might help stave off short-term disaster within the Scottish seed sector, commentators feel it will do little to restart the trade. And fresh impetus will be needed to break the political deadlock required to secure an agreement on equivalence, which would allow sales of Scotland’s high-health status seed to the EU to resume.
Grower Andrew Skea, who formerly exported a considerable amount of seed to Europe, agreed that it could be difficult to overcome the ideological barriers which had stymied talks. But while the ban on imports might create difficulties for some growers obtaining their preferred varieties in the south, he said that alternative varieties of seed were available from Scotland.
Source: The Scotsman. Full report here