Growing international markets for Scottish seed

Monday, 1 April 2019

After spending 2018 opening the doors to new markets for seed potatoes, in 2019 we will be focusing on strengthening relationships with existing markets.

After spending 2018 opening the doors to new markets for seed potatoes, in 2019 we will be focusing on strengthening relationships with existing markets.

Rob Burns explains: “We need to make sure we demonstrate to our most loyal customers that our products are of the right quality and specification through regular inward and outward missions.”

We think these relationships are even more vital, and potentially vulnerable, due to uncertainty surrounding future trade deals following Britain’s departure from the EU. As you will be aware, export partnerships with third countries have all been negotiated through the EU, which means they will be affected by Brexit, although the extent of the impact is unclear.

As Executive Director of Agrico UK Ltd Archie Gibson explains: “One of the most immediate challenges we all face is the uncertainty around ability to export into European countries and North African countries where we have arrangements under European Union rules and regulations.

“We’ll be looking for UK industry and officials to have permission to arrange bilateral agreements with these countries. Egypt, Israel, Morocco, the Canary Islands and so on.

“My attendance at different meetings in Berlin, convinces me that industry wants solutions and we do not want the frustration of politics getting in the way of free movement of goods.”

With Brexit in mind, AHDB’s export team, alongside partners SASA, will be working to maintain seed export flows this year with their renewed focus on existing markets.

“We will be hosting delegations from countries like Egypt, and visiting key partners abroad such as the Canaries and Morocco, to make sure they remain confident in our industry’s commitment to quality.

“However we will also continue to develop relationships with those new markets, such as China and Kenya, which we worked hard to open for export last year.”

Planned inward and outward missions for 2019

Inward: Egypt (June),

Outward: Egypt (March), China (April) Morocco, Canaries, Israel

This story was taken from our Seed Export newsletter, for more information please contact Margaret Skinner - margaret.skinner@ahdb.org.uk.

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