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Potato and horticulture industries praise AHDB Exports’ platform

12 February 2016

Growers and suppliers of potato and horticultural produce attending this month’s Fruit Logistica, the world’s leading fresh produce export event, have praised the high-profile platform provided by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), under their new AHDB Exports brand.

AHDB’s new exports brand launched boldly into the international fresh produce arena in Berlin this month, where over 2500 exhibitors and 65,000 trade visitors gathered from over 150 countries. The vibrant stand ensured no-one could be mistaken as to which country they were visiting!

Convened by AHDB Horticulture and Potatoes, the AHDB stand showcases the excellence of horticulture and potatoes grown in Britain, with growers and science organisations also exhibiting on the stand. This year A. C. Goatham, Bedfordshire Growers, Cranfield University, Frederick Hiam, Skea Organics, James Hutton Ltd, SASA Scottish Government and Moorhouse & Mohan joined the stand.

Always a highlight, the ‘GREAT’ British Reception this year was hosted by AHDB Exports and supported by UKTI, with Tony Sims, Director of the UKTI and Berlin Embassy in attendance. AHDB Chair, Sir Peter Kendall opened the reception remarking, “Total exports of horticultural goods have shown consistent growth year-on-year, suggesting a growing market in Europe and beyond for producers.”

“UK agriculture and horticulture need to get out there and sell themselves. AHDB Exports has a great role as a hub for UK exporters to meet their customers. It is absolutely right that we are at an event like this.”

The key focus for AHDB Horticulture at Fruit Logistica is to communicate the breadth and quality of horticultural produce grown in GB and the statistics show that horticultural export potential is growing, with the Irish Republic and Egypt as key destinations. With the exception of last year, export to Egypt has been growing since 2012 suggesting this market presents opportunities. Whilst horticultural exports from the UK to Spain, the United States and Poland have all shown growth in the past two years.

Carol Ford of A.C. Goatham, suppliers of apples and pears said, “UK quality produce sets the standard and here, we are all united under the British exporting flag. It gives us an amazing platform to really present our businesses and provides an amazing return on investment. Our competitors are no longer the farm down the road, we are competing with the world. We should be competing on a world platform and by exhibiting here under the ‘GREAT’ British banner, exporting opportunities will come our way.”

At Fruit Logistica the key focus for AHDB Potatoes is to communicate the importance of healthy seed potatoes for vigorous potato crops, and how GB produces high-health, high quality seed, suitable for a wide variety of global markets and growing conditions.

Seed potato exports from the UK are well-established and remain strong across most destinations. Despite recent unexpected changes in import regulations from our largest seed potato market Egypt, AHDB Potatoes, Scottish Government and the seed community worked together and succeeded in minimising the reduction in exported tonnages to only 5%, which was much lower than the 20% drop expected.

UK seed potatoes are now exported to Cuba, a market opened in 2014 and India is also an exciting new prospect for seed potatoes with an AHDB-funded export mission in September last year. And new markets in South America and sub-Saharan Africa are being explored by AHDB and industry.

Andrew Skea, owner of long-established seed potato and vegetable exporters Skea Organics told us, “Being on the AHDB stand works really well. We really have got to get out and let people know we are here. We can’t just sit at home and wait for them to come to us.”

The AHDB stand, increasing in prominence year on year, is increasingly one of the best places for our producers to promote, do business and network at Fruit Logistica. AHDB’s emphasis is on providing opportunities for British growers of to explore new markets and develop new ones.  

Commenting further on the AHDB Exports stand, Peter Kendall emphasised, “UK agriculture and horticulture is ambitious, it wants to do business and develop export markets. AHDB Exports is all about that.”

With constant meetings and networking, this year’s AHDB Exports stand really consolidated support for our fledgling and established UK exporters alike, and is set to steer our UK producers towards future exports success.

Useful links

AHDB Exports Fruit Logistica 2016 stand video:

AHDB Potatoes homepage:

AHDB Horticulture homepage:

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