UK: Will Brexit offer new overseas opportunities for potato growers?

The potato sector is better placed than many other farming sectors to weather Brexit and make the most of future overseas trading opportunities, according to AHDB. Speaking at the AHDB Potatoes Winter Forum, held at Harper Adams University, AHDB senior analyst, Sarah Baker, said she expected the UK to try to negotiate some sort of preferential access to the single market. “The EU is a major trading partner and we need to be able to access these markets and them to be able to access ours. It is not in anyone’s interest to have huge tariff barriers. The potato sector already has some well-developed export markets outside the EU”, she said. Seed potatoes are a high value, important export; 60 per cent go to Egypt and Morocco and 13 per cent to other non-EU countries. Although the bulk of crisp exports went to EU countries in 2015, 13 per cent went to non-EU countries and demand is growing, said Ms Baker. There is an expanding market for high value, designer crisps such as Tyrells and a growing market outside the EU, offering potential opportunities for the industry. After leaving the EU, the UK will also have opportunities to negotiate bilateral agreements with other countries which could mean new opportunities for agricultural products. FG Insight report