Benefits of seed potatoes from Great Britain

Healthy, high quality seed potatoes are essential for growing vigorous, high-yielding and marketable potato crops. Seed potatoes produced in Great Britain (GB) are considered to be some of the best in the world, thanks to dedicated growers, supported by expert scientists, breeders and inspectors who ensure that Britain’s specialist seed potato industry is a world leader.

Seed potato production in Great Britain is a highly specialised and innovative industry. It accounts for 13% of GB’s croppable (planted) potato area, produced by a group of around 300 registered seed growers. Most GB seed is grown in the EU Community Grade, high-health status region of the north of England and Scotland and is worth around £100m to the British economy.

Seed is inspected, certified and regulated by GB’s official plant health authorities, ensuring complete traceability and quality assurance.

Investment in plant health and agronomy research means British seed remains high-health, with British breeders developing and supplying varieties that meet and exceed customer specifications and changing growing conditions.

Research and development (R&D) is crucial to the sustainability of GB’s potato industry. AHDB Potatoes, a division of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), commissions around £1.5m per annum of new R&D projects each year, guided and funded directly by the GB potato industry, with over £200,000 dedicated to specific seed-related research (2013/2014).

AHDB Potatoes works closely with GB’s plant health regulatory authorities, Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA) and the Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera), and the dedication and expertise invested in high quality, high health GB seed potatoes helps to ensure the continuing success story of this specialist industry.

Protecting our national seed crop