Europe, UK, Ireland

British farmers told potatoes underpin ‘£4.5bn industry’

Potato growers have been told they are massively underestimating the economic significance of their sector which could be as high as £4.5 billion rather than the commonly-used estimate of £765 million, as Nancy Nicolson reports for The Courier.

SRUC senior agricultural economist Steven Thomson told the SAC Association of Potato Producers (SACAP) conference in Dundee that underselling the industry afforded it less political imperative and could result in the sector missing out on vital government support.

Mr Thomson emphasised the economic impact of the sector went far beyond the farm gate, and the usual estimate of the value of potatoes across the UK failed to take into account all the people working in processing and the upstream and downstream values.

“So while the £100m seed potato sector is a small component of the total sales in the potato sector, it is underpinning all retail and processing and £3bn of value,” he said.

Source: The Courier. Read the full story here
Photo: Steven Thomson said the economic impact of potatoes went far beyond the farm. Credit The Courier

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