10 August 1999
Small ware spud deal leads to fine

By FWi staff

A CAMPAIGN to stop illegal sales of “small ware” potatoes for planting was boosted by the recent prosecution of a Scottish firm of potato merchants.

In the case heard at Leominster Magistrates Court on 24 June, 1999, Perth-based traders David Lindsay (Potato Merchants) Ltd pleaded guilty to charges brought by MAFF in relation to the sale of 140 tonnes of uncertified Estima potatoes for planting to a Herefordshire grower in 1997.

The firm was fined £2000 plus costs of £2500, and has also settled outstanding royalty payments, in excess of £1600, with the British Society of Plant Breeders.

Roger Turner, chief executive of the British Society Potato Breeders (BSPB) said the UK potato sector was united in condemning a practice which threatens to undermine the reputation and future prospects of the seed potato industry.

“This court case demonstrates that the minority who continue to flout the rules by trading in small ware will be sought out and forced to bear the consequences,” he added.

The BSPB, British Potato Council, NIAB, the National Association of Potato Merchants, the NFUs of England and Scotland, as well as the Scottish Potato Trade Association have all joined forces to highlight the commercial and plant health risks of purchasing and planting small ware.