Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Seed potato trade talks hit a brick wall

SEEDS OF DISSENT: Scottish farmers want a breakthrough in trade talks for their seed potatoes.

The latest attempts by Scottish farming leaders to argue for the resumption of tattie seed exports to Europe have hit a brick wall.

A delegation from NFU Scotland (NFUS) met officials from DG Sante – the European Commission’s directorate-general responsible for policy on food safety and health – in Brussels, but after the “robust” meeting, union president Martin Kennedy said the UK and EU remain at loggerheads.

The issue is a direct consequence of the Brexit trade and co-operation agreement which saw the annual export of around 20,000 tonnes of Scottish high health seed potatoes to Europe stop. The trade was worth almost £11 million.

Meanwhile, Defra has permitted imports of seed potatoes from the EU to GB, providing they are not used for “marketing purposes”.

Martin Kennedy is NFUS president.
Martin Kennedy is NFUS president.

Mr Kennedy said: “The deadlock on the trade of seed potatoes from GB to the EU and Northern Ireland continues to cause huge amounts of anger for growers.

“It is Scottish seed potato growers who are paying the price for an issue that is becoming increasingly political.”

He said the delegation had made it “abundantly clear” to officials that the ban on the import of GB seed potatoes into the EU can’t be justified based on current plant health and marketing standards.

He added: “Urgent action is now needed by the EU Commission and the UK Government to agree a new model for two-way trade between GB and the EU, and Northern Ireland.

“This is essential and must be agreed without delay to support business planning for future cropping seasons. Both the UK and EU have harmonised seed grades and disease tolerances which would permit reciprocal trade.

“This trade developed and flourished in the past because of the recognised high quality of seed potatoes grown on both sides of the Channel.

“In light of the looming global food security crisis, it is particularly disappointing that a resolution cannot be agreed. The high health and quality status of Scottish seed potatoes could play an important role in strengthening food production in the EU.”

The union’s policy manager, David Michie added: “We are aware that Defra are reviewing requests from Denmark and France to allow importations of their seed potatoes to GB. NFUS is concerned this has the potential to further push back the development of the GB market.

“At this time, the UK Government is not providing any support to develop new markets that could compensate seed growers for the loss of the EU market following the implementation of their Brexit deal.

“NFUS thinks it is only fair that they do more.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in





Please enter the name you would like to appear on your comments. (It doesn’t have to be your real name - but nothing rude please, we are a polite bunch!) Use a combination of eight or more characters that includes an upper and lower case character, and a number.

By registering with [[site_name]] you agree to our Terms and Conditions and our Privacy Policy

Or sign up with

Facebook Google



Or login with

Forgotten your password? Reset it