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New seed tattie organisation outlines aims

NEW GROWTH: The Seed Potato Organisation was formed after AHDB Potatoes’ demise.

The proposed new Seed Potato Organisation (SPO) will charge members a one-off joining fee of £2,000 to establish the co-operative then an annual payment of around £40/ha.

The farmers behind the establishment of the SPO say the £2,000 will be repaid if a member leaves and the annual fee will depend on the size of the membership.

The group, formed following the demise of AHDB Potatoes, has compiled a prospectus, launched a survey and is inviting producers to meetings in Coupar Angus and Kinloss next month.

They aim to fund research, innovation and technical services; represent the views of seed potato grower members and present evidence to governments; support the development of seed potato markets and also to ensure the economic and environmental sustainability of the seed potato sector.

SPO has set up a website at seed-potato-organisation.mailchimpsites.com/ with details of the growers on the steering committee, an overview of the organisation and the prospectus.

Science & Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA), which has welcomed the initiative, will distribute a survey to all registered seed potato growers.

Calum McIver, a grower from the Black Isle, said: “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.”

Grower meetings will be held on July 5 at the Red House Hotel in Coupar Angus at 6.30pm and on July 6 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 near Dundee on August 11 at 10am.

Growers can register an interest in SPO through the survey, at these meetings and on the group’s
website.

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