18 April 1997

EU potato regime

PROPOSALS for a lightweight potato regime, which failed under the recent Irish EU Presidency , are to be resurrected during the UKs Presidency next year.

Italian COPA/COGECA potato chairman Dr Russo said the introduction of a lightweight regime would prevent countries developing national policies which distorted free trade.

All EU-member states accepted the proposal except Greece and Spain, which wanted to see a full quota regime in existence. Spanish growers have been angered in recent months by what they claim has been illegal dumping by French merchants on the border.

Alistair Fairbairn, Potato Marketing Board chief executive, said the majority of growers in the UK favoured such a regime.