A key reason why British seed potatoes retain their high-health status is the stringent Seed Potato Classification Scheme (SPCS) imposed upon the entire seed production chain, right up to the point of sale to the seed customers and growers.
The SPCS is administered by Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA) in Scotland, and by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) (formerly Fera) in England and Wales and these two authorities work together to ensure seed crops are multiplied under the official classification for each generation of seed. There is an official limit to the number of generations that can be produced at each class, ensuring older seed stocks are flushed out each year. Minimum health standards for each seed class are maintained by government inspections of each generation of the growing crop .
SASA hosts the ‘MySPUDS’ database which gives producers and growers of Scottish seed and ware potatoes the ability to monitor their crops as they proceed through the Scottish Seed Potato Classification Scheme (SPCS). The database allows both officials and growers the ability to quickly check the status of their crops, to verify crop traceability and find related stocks. ‘MySPUDS’ is a powerful tool to assist in the maintenance of the overall health of the national potato industry.