Despite the widespread ban on European fruit and vegetable imports to Russia, seed potatoes are exempt subject to strict phytosanitary inspections and the first Scottish shipment of the year has recently been passed by Russian authorities.
Rosselkhoznadzor (the country’s phytosanitary agency) permitted the import of 160 tonnes of Valor seed potatoes after officers completed a laboratory inspection of samples of seed potatoes taken from a Scottish farm at the end of February.
Rosselkhoznadzor introduced a ban on the import of seed potatoes from the EU in July 2013, but seed potatoes were excluded from the list of banned produce on 20 August 2014, subject to a pre-shipment inspection. The country has also recently allowed imports of seed potatos from Finland, Germany and the Netherlands.
According to the Scottish Government, 81,968 tonnes of seed potatoes have been exported to non-EU countries already this year. With the season running from July to June there could be up to another 3,000 tonnes to add to that figure, based on previous years. The current figure is already up 4,000 tonnes on 2013/14’s final total of almost 78,000.