17 November 1998
Scots urged to grow seed potatoes

SCOTTISH potato growers were urged to improve their business techniques when they attended a British Potato Council (BPC) conference at Aviemore, reports The Herald.

Diana Rees, marketing chief at the BPC, claimed Scottish seed had a rosy future, domestically and abroad.

Ms Rees said the extension of certified seed potatoes into England and Wales was not a threat but an opportunity – to convert more growers over the border to “quality seed”.

One in three of these growers currently use their own crop to provide seed for the following year. A potato specialist with the Scottish Agricultural College said this was poor practice.

Ms Rees said the Dutch were major players on the world export market with over 600,000 tonnes – as compared to 66,000 tonnes for Scotland last year.

Scottish growers could grab market share from Dutch suppliers in some of the European countries, she said.

Ms Rees said the Dutch pitched their product on its low levels of fungal diseases, whereas the Scotlands unique selling point was its virus health.

The conference was also told that growers and seed providers should consult more with each other to clarify market objectives.

  • The Herald 17/11/98 page 25