Gordon MP writes to DEFRA with plea from seed potato exporters
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MP for Gordon Constituency Richard Thomson has written to the UK Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) with a plea for action on behalf of Scottish seed potato exporters to save the sector from further Brexit-related harm.
Commenting, Richard Thomson MP said:“Scottish seed potatoes have a worldwide reputation for quality and excellence, thanks in no small part to producers in the North-east who have built up this trade, often over decades or, indeed, generations.
“Those involved in the seed potato sector are clear that the UK Government has not listened to their warnings about the potential for damage to the export market from post-Brexit arrangements and it appears, sadly, the long-foreseen difficulties which were flagged by growers are now coming to pass.
“Not only are Scottish seed potatoes excluded from their EU market but they are also excluded from Northern Ireland, which is also a very important customer base for the sector.
“This is a sector where the highest standards of disease-free potato production have been developed over a long period, giving us a high-quality product.
"The UK Government’s policy in respect of this important export market is now threatening the survival of businesses in my constituency and across Scotland.
"A commitment to urgent change in respect of seed potatoes is needed now and I have asked DEFRA Secretary George Eustice to recognise the extreme difficulties being caused by the current arrangements and respond.”