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Scottish potatoes help keep GB potato sector afloat

Scottish grown potatoes currently account for 34% of total grower held stocks, up from 25% last year, according to the latest survey by AHDB.

Scotland avoided the worst of last year’s drought with production only slightly below average and as the season has progressed an increasing proportion of GB stocks have been held north of the border.

A mixture of heavy demand and issues with ambient storage saw above average drawdown between November and January in England and Wales. However, drawdown rates in Scotland remained steady with better quality helping potatoes keep better in stores.

Before fish and chip shops get excited, very little grown in Scotland goes to chipping - around just 2%. However, the news is expected to help maintain supply to other sectors this year.

AHDB analyst Aidan Wright explains: “The start of the season saw massively reduced production across GB, mitigated in part by a large carryover from the 2017 crop.

“Scotland has remained fairly stable with large quantities of old crop potatoes being marketed well into the new season. This helped reduce dependence on new crop at the start of the season. The relatively healthy situation north of the border means that Scottish production has been supporting demand down south.

“Since harvest, Scottish potatoes have made a slow and steady exit from grower stores, heading south of the border and over the Channel to mainland Europe.”

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