Seed growers set up support group

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22 June 2022
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Growers urged to attend meetings to shape future of sector

A GROUP of nine seed potato growers from across Scotland, along with technical back-up, are putting together a new organisation to support and develop the seed potato sector.

Mike Wilson, a grower from Aberdeenshire explained why. “After AHDB, we realised we need an organisation run by seed growers for the benefit of seed growers, to provide directly relevant, value-for-money activities.”

The new Seed Potato Organisation (SPO) is starting to take shape. The growers have put together a prospectus with all the details and want to speak to other seed growers this summer.

Peter Shiells, a grower from the Borders, said: “We’ve a good idea of how we want this organisation to run and what we want it to do. We need find out if other growers agree, and if they’re keen to sign up.” 

SPO has set up a website at https://seed-potato-organisation.mailchimpsites.com/ with details of the growers on the steering committee, an overview of the organisation, and a prospectus.

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Science & Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA) supports the initiative. The SPO has put together a survey to find out what growers think and SASA will distribute to all registered seed potato growers.

Calum McIver, a grower from the Black Isle wants as many growers as possible to complete it. “We need folk to fill out this survey. We need to find out how many people are likely to join, and what their priorities are. We don’t want to go full steam ahead and set up a new organisation without listening to the growers first,” he said.

UK seed potato growers are urged to keep an eye out for the survey and invited to attend growers' meeting which will be held on July 5th at the Red House Hotel in Coupar Angus at 6:30pm, and on July 6the at the Woodside Farm Shop near Kinloss at 6:30pm.

There will also be a wider industry meeting in the seminar tent at Potatoes in Practice on the August 11th at 10am.

Growers can register an interest in SPO through the survey, at these meetings, and on the SPO website.

Jim Cargill, a grower from Aberdeenshire urged other growers to attend. “Now is the time for seed potato growers to set the agenda: join SPO and help it shape the development of the seed potato sector,” he said.

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