News came through late yesterday afternoon from the EU of the “removal of prohibition of import of ware potatoes from GB”. Even the BBC have picked up on it:
Phew! Better late than never. A welcome Christmas present for the potato industry. Although, not the whole potato industry.
The press release was keen to point out that the “removal of this prohibition does NOT apply to seed potatoes”. Scottish seed is some of the best quality and safest, disease-free seed in the World. That’s just a well-known fact so why the EU has pushed on with this import ban is beyond me. GB exports around 25,000t of seed potatoes to EU of which around 10,000t is destined for Ireland so it’s a significant market. I’ve had a chat with Sandy McGowan, President of the British Potato Traders Association, this morning – great guy! He’s disappointed but determined to continue to fight the good fight and seek a compromise from the EU. I’m sure you’ll join me in wishing him and the BPTA well.
Many thanks to all those who offered support and particularly those who wrote to George Eustice. Very kind of you – many thanks.
From all at Nationwide, we wish you a merry Christmas and much better New Year!