After a busy export season in 2011, the British seed potato industry is set to reach new heights in 2012 by expanding existing and new markets, says Potato Council head of seed and export, Mark Prentice, who will be at Fruit Logistica supporting the industry.
For the second year in a row, exports to Egypt set a record, topping 40,000t of high grade seed potatoes in 2011.
"At Fruit Logistica there will also be opportunities to develop relations with emerging markets who may be interested in learning about the high quality early generation seed that can be grown for two generations and help reduce reliance on poor farm-saved seed. This could provide good opportunities for Scottish businesses prepared to tap into these export markets."
In their quest for perfection, Scottish seed producers will soon be able to view seed certification data in real time from 2012, thanks to the latest online roll out of Scotland's certification scheme that will add impetus to their export drive.
‘Spuds' is an on-line database developed by Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA) to help seed suppliers ensure quality in the supply chain as it has a grower interface, says Mr Prentice.
"Applicants will have instant access to certification data on all their crops as soon as it is filed by the inspector," he says.
"They will be able to provide findings to customers, so they can rest assured that seed quality really is as described."
Relations with the authorities in importing countries are also a priority and Potato Council assists importers and exporters by working closely with both to help smooth bureaucratic paths, so importers can have confidence that their high grade potatoes will arrive in good time and in good condition.
"Our success in the export markets is mainly due to offering the different markets what they need, with timely delivery assured. If you would like to know how British seed potatoes could help your business, come and talk to us at Fruit Logistica (Hall 21, stand B-08)."