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More Scottish seed tatties heading for Egypt before deadline

Egyptian import authorities are pulling shipping deadlines back 10 days to December 5 – making it a tight turnround for Scottish growers.
03.12.22 | Source: The Scottish Farmer

This week The Scottish Farmer caught up with Alistair Melrose, general manager at J and E Smillie and director of Caledonia Potatoes, to find out how the export season went for the seed sector.


Seed tattie growers have much to be pleased about with good harvest condition, strong export prices and international demand. But rising costs, over reliance on Egyptian buyers and the continued EU trade blockade will mean that 2024 will not be all plain sailing.


The Egyptian market is the destination for the majority of exported seed, which was exacerbated after the EU banned UK imports following Brexit and Russia was closed after the Ukraine invasion.


Hotter and drier summers by the Nile is pushing African growers to plant early in autumn to ensure the crop is lifted in good time. This has meant that Egyptian import authorities are pulling shipping deadlines back 10 days to December 5 – making it a tight turnround for Scottish growers.


 

However, Mr Melrose pointed out: "The majority of the people will have made the deadline, which was greatly aided by an early harvest. We grow around 650 acres of seed ourselves and you are rushing to get them lifted so you can get the grading underway.

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