Members of the Pre Basic Growers Association (PBGA) recently visited southern Spain to look at the country’s potato production and help maintain a strong relationship with the Spanish industry.
During the visit, the group of 25 Scottish seed potato growers said the need for Scottish seed was highlighted by David Sanchez of local company Pepsur.
Potatoes grown in the region are sold into local markets and are also exported to northern Europe.
Prior to Brexit, Spanish farmers multiplied high grade Scottish seed for further production across the country.
However, current seed multiplication in Spain now comes from Dutch and French input with sales from the UK to Europe now prohibited under EU regulations.
The loss of Scottish seed was also recently debated by the European Parliament’s agricultural committee where a Spanish representative said the lack of Scottish seed potatoes is creating a problem for the Spanish industry.
Scottish seed producers hope that reciprocal trade in seed potatoes can be re-established between the EU and the UK, and that Scottish seed can again be grown in Spain.
Bill Rennie, secretary for PBGA, said the visit underlined the loss felt by Spanish farmers and said the re-establishment of reciprocal trade in seed would clearly benefit both sides.