We are reluctantly forced to close our online shop to customers in the EU and NI, which means that there will be no more sales of Seed Potatoes to EU and NI for the foreseeable future. We are disgusted that part of the United Kingdom is now a foreign market to us as well as the EU. We have been very vocal against Brexit, and now sadly many of our predictions are coming true.
We have grown our business over the last 20 years and viewed all 500 million citizens as our domestic market.
Until our government and the EU agree dynamic alignment of seed potato certification and plant health standards we are not permitted to send seed potatoes or table potatoes to the EU or Northern Ireland.
Seed potatoes, like other plant, animal and food products are closely regulated for plant, animal and human health reasons. We require our the government and the EU to agree reciprocal, and probably dynamic, acceptance of seed certification and plant health standards. For potatoes we need something called Third Country Equivalence, but even with this there will be a huge increase in paperwork to supply our EU customers including phytosanitary and other documents required at customs (these are standard for other export markets).
Even once (if) a deal is done, and our standards are recognised in the EU, it might still not be possible for us to open the shop again – the paperwork required to accompany orders and the tariffs might be prohibitive. While this extra paperwork might be viable with larger orders, if/when the border opens again, most of our customers are smaller and the cost of paperwork might be prohibitive. EU exports are currently vital to our business so please stick with us.
We have tried as hard as possible to dispatch all existing orders in time – we will be in contact if any do not get out of the UK before the border closes. We would like to thank our loyal EU and Northern Ireland customers large and small for your custom and words of support recently, it really does mean a lot to us.
To all our friends across the EU and Northern Ireland – Have a lovely Christmas!
From our family firm,
Skea Family, staff, and colleagues
24th December 2020
For background information on this please see the following (or search for “Brexit seed potatoes”):
Deep concerns for Dundee and Angus farming amid ongoing Brexit uncertainty Dundee Courier 20/2/19
Brexit: Potato growers treated like pawns in political game Farmers Weekly 24/12/20
EU to allow post-Brexit UK farm produce exports – BBC 24/12/2020
Brexit and trade: Tattie buy bye – BBC – 14/10/2020
Brexit: Seed potato sector on brink of EU and NI export ban – Potato News 22/10/20
EU rejects application to resume British seed potato exports Press and Journal 30/1/21
Parliamentarians: British seed potato farmers continue to face Brexit struggle Potato News 16/12/21
Scotland’s important tattie trade sacrificed to Brexit, says Herald gardener Dave Allan (note there is a error – “is now”….should be “was” 40% of business. We have been unable to supply to our customers since 31st Dec 2020) Herald 12/2/22
Europatat calls on the European Parliament for an urgent solution in restoring normal EU-GB trade in seed potatoes. 16/3/22