UK seed potatoes are exported to more than 50 countries worldwide – but shipments to the EU are still significant.
Egypt and Morocco still remain the largest buyers, importing a combined 75,000 tonnes in 2018, according to the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board. More recent successes have seen GB seed approved in China and Kenya.
China is the world’s largest potato consumer, with a high demand for chips and crisps. The AHDB says the UK has an opportunity to trade 100,000 tonnes of seed potato
varieties used to make these processed products.
Access to the Kenyan market was granted after two seasons of trials and performance assessments. Potatoes are Kenya’s second most important food crop after maize, with some 2.5m tonnes grown annually.
Many of the EU seed potatoes imported into the UK are produced by Dutch owned Agrico UK. New varieties with enhanced properties tend to originate from Dutch seed before they are multiplied in the UK.
Agrico UK is a wholly owned subsidiary of Agrico Holland, a farmer-owned cooperative of some 800 growers. It is a specialist developer and supplier of high grade seed potatoes for pre-packers, processors and seed merchants.