06 January 2023
New organisation looking for members to shape industry's future.
THE Seed Potato Organisation (SPO), an independent Scottish co-operative for seed potato growers, is looking for new members to join.
A number of meetings have been held in Scotland to discuss the merits of a successor body to the AHDB, a report in Grampian Online reveals.
Organisers say the meetings revealed that seed growers were most interested in a body that specifically represented their own sector of the potato industry and felt this might be under-represented if a new over-arching national body is formed.
The board of the SPO comprises nine seed potato growers, as well as Dr Philip Burgess (leader of scottishpotatoes.org and technical expert) and Patrick Hughes (SAOS Supply Chain and Export Specialist), and the organisation has identified four priorities for the the future. These are: Representing the views of growers; Funding agronomy research, innovation and services to benefit the seed sector; Supporting the development of seed potato markets; Ensuring the long term economic and environmental sustainability of the sector.
Rodney Harrison, an Angus-based seed grower, is amongst those to join SPO. He told Grampian Online: “I joined because I feel our industry is at a crossroads. If we, as growers, sit back and do nothing, we could well find the industry suffers, or worse disappears. Joining the SPO gives me a voice to help ensure this great industry stays relevant."
Jonnie Martin, a grower from the Black Isle and SPO Board member added that the UK seed potato sector has many strengths, but to protect and enhance its global reputation it needs a united and dynamic organisation that can work in partnership with both SASA and DEFRA to ensure an efficient sector to produce a high quality seed product, one that can direct scientific research and one that can promote and further develop the health status of our seed industry at home and abroad.
Source: Grampian Online