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UK signs deal to allow potatoes to China

August 29, 2018

The British government minister in charge of International Trade Dr Liam Fox has signed a deal to allow UK potatoes to be exported to China.

The deal is expected to bring major benefits to Scotland, with around 70% of the 100,000 tonnes of seed potatoes exported annually from the UK coming from Scottish farms. The seed potato export market is already worth an annual £90 million to the UK, with some varieties fetching up to £900 per tonne.

China is the largest global consumer of potatoes in the world. As the country’s demand for potato-based foods increases, the humble spud is now China’s fourth staple crop after rice, corn and wheat – with demand increasing at a rapid rate.

International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox MP said:

The rapidly-growing Chinese market offers huge potential for UK farmers. According to research by Barclays, around 60% of people in China would actually pay more for a product, just because they knew it was British.

With China expected to have 220 cities with a population of more than a million by 2030, that is a huge market that UK potato farmers will now be able to make the most of.

My international economic department is in 108 markets across the world, helping UK businesses to export whilst liberalising international trade by removing barriers to commerce. I’m delighted that this latest deal is set to boost our £67.5 billion trading relationship with China even further.

In a further move to open-up its agri-food market, China also lifted its 2 decades long BSE ban on the exports of beef from the UK earlier this year – a landmark move for beef producers worth an estimated £250 million in the first 5 years alone.