A group of nine seed potato growers from across Scotland, along with technical back-up, are putting together a new organisation to support and develop the seed potato sector, according to a news release.
Mike Wilson, a grower from Aberdeenshire explained why. “After AHDB, we realised we need an organisation run by seed growers for the benefit of seed growers, to provide directly relevant, value for money activities.”
The new Seed Potato Organisation (SPO) is starting to take shape. The growers have put together a prospectus with all the details and want to speak to other seed growers this summer.
“We’ve a good idea of how we want this organisation to run and what we want it to do. We need find out if other growers agree, and if they’re keen to sign up” said Peter Shiells, a grower from the Borders.
SPO has set up a website at https://seed-potato-organisation.mailchimpsites.com/ with details of the growers on the steering committee, an overview of the organisation, and a prospectus.
To find out what growers think, SPO have put together a survey. Science & Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA) has kindly agreed to distribute it to all registered seed potato growers as they welcome this grower-led initiative.
Calum McIver, a grower from the Black Isle wants as many growers as possible to complete it. “We need folk to fill out this survey. We need to find out how many people are likely to join, and what their priorities are. We don’t want to go full steam ahead and set up a new organisation without listening to the growers first.”
If you are a seed potato grower keep an eye out for the survey and come along to a grower meeting. These will be held on the 5 July at the Red House Hotel in Coupar Angus at 6:30pm, and on 6 July at the Woodside Farm Shop near Kinloss at 6:30pm.
There will also be a wider industry meeting in the seminar tent at Potatoes in Practice on the 11 August at 10:00am.
Growers can register an interest in SPO through the survey, at these meetings, and on the SPO website.
Jim Cargill, a grower from Aberdeenshire wants other growers to get involved. “Now is the time for seed potato growers to set the agenda: join SPO and help it shape the development of the seed potato sector.”
Source: News release issued by NFUScotland on behalf of SPO