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AHDB explores Cuban export potential

7 June 2018

AHDB is encouraging seed potato producers to consider Cuba as an export destination after recent meetings with Government officials in the country.

While GB producers are technically able to export to Cuba they have not been able to take advantage of this market due to a lack of awareness on how to get products into the country. However, fresh discussions have led to the development of a clear process for exporting product into Cuba.

Rob Burns, AHDB Head of Crops Export Trade Development, explains: “This a good potential market for us and during our visit to the country officials said that the Cuban Government is keen to expand their portfolio of seed supplies and would welcome imports from Great Britain.

“With this in mind we also met with Alimport, the company owned by the Cuban Government which facilitates the importation of all crop products into Cuba.

“These discussions have allowed us to draft a straightforward export procedure, supported by SASA, and already GB exporters have said they will take advantage of it.”

Like Great Britain, Cuba has only one potato season per year and with poor or absent storage facilities stocks don’t last long, which means harvest season is celebrated across the country.

Presently Cuba currently imports 17,000 tonnes of seed mainly from the Netherlands and France. Canada used to be a supplier but in recent years European sources have been preferred.

“Great Britain is looked on favourably by the Cuban Government due to our high health status,” Rob says, “so any exporter looking for new markets should seriously consider this opportunity.

“If they are interested in nominating crops for Cuban exports they should compile a list to send to SASA by the end of June, and SASA will work with Alimport to identify Cuban companies looking for GB seed.”

More detailed information on the agreed procedure can be found by contacting AHDB or SASA.

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