Improving connectivity in the seed potato supply chain


23 May 2022
New report makes recommendations

Scottish potato industry professional Claire Hodge NSch 2019 has published her Nuffield Farming report titled Improving connectivity in the seed potato supply chain’, sponsored by the MacRobert Trust.


Claire travelled Kenya, India, South America, USA, and Europe for much of her study, speaking with experts across the supply chain in both emerging and established markets. She explored different supply chain frameworks and established how digital tools and business structures support connectivity in the supply chain.

“Throughout my travels, I observed that connectivity was not just about the framework of the supply chain but, most importantly, about the mindset of the people within it,” says Claire. “I found that the global potato industry is full of opportunities and is constantly expanding in its ability to connect.

“On reflection, the UK has a complex supply chain that has become technically detailed in order to produce a consistent product. These chains are often linear and not circular, and there is a need to connect the seed producer at either end of the chain, to researchers and the consumer at the other, so that the whole industry can respond to challenges and change faster.”

From her learnings Claire makes recommendations that the Scottish potato industry should consider redesigning its current structure to make better use the technology available globally and address consumer demands.

“Now is a good time for the Scottish potato industry to establish how potatoes will be grown in the future and be part of the growth in potatoes as a global food. This will require strong connectivity throughout the industry with a focus on customers, the environment, policy, technology and the economics of production,” she concludes.

Her report is now available on the Nuffield Farming website at or can be downloaded directly at


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Claire also presented her findings during the 2020 Nuffield Farming Virtual Mini-Conference Series and more recently at the 2021 Nuffield Farming Annual Conference.



Study Objectives

  • Explore how connectivity in the potato industry impacts farming systems.
  • Identify strategic partnerships and factors which will enhance connectivity through the potato supply chain.


Countries Visited

Kenya, India, Brazil, Chile, USA, UK and EU



  • Focus on types of information that can be shared without losing commercial advantages.
  • Creating shared goals and incentives through the whole supply chain
  • Shared investment in technology and innovation
  • Increased transparency in production data to create value for all parties
  • The UK potato industry can lead the future of potato production through global collaboration
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