Africa, Europe, UK, Ireland, Seed, Trade/Markets/Prices

Scottish seed potatoes rejected by Egypt, industry ponders risks of international trade

A valuable cargo of premium Scottish seed potatoes has reportedly been turned back from Egypt, at a cost traders estimate to be in the region of £1.5 million.

As Nancy Nicolson reports for The Courier, it is understood 1,500 tonnes of Hermes seed potatoes from five or six suppliers is currently in limbo in Alexandria, after the load was rejected by Egyptian authorities because it failed to meet a December export deadline by one day.

The companies who are believed to be involved did not respond to calls but industry insiders say that the combined price of the potatoes, shipping costs and returning the shipment to the UK would be in the region of £1.5 million.

The news emerged as leading Scottish seed potato exporters told an online conference that the risks of international trading now outweigh the rewards.

According to Sandy McGowan of Milnathort-based Cygnet PEP Ltd: “We had an opportunity to supply several hundred tonnes of seed to a customer in North Africa that wasn’t Egypt and we couldn’t find the logistical solution, but Dutch exporters have put 7,000 tonnes of seed into that market.”

Source: The Courier. Read the full story here
Photo: Egypt is an important destination for Scottish seed potato exporters. Courtesy The Courier

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