BRITISH POTATO exporters will instigate deals worth hundreds of thousands of pounds at this year’s Potato Europe event, AHDB has predicted.

Being held on Wednesday and Thursday next week in Emmelord, the Netherlands, Potato Europe will have over 250 exhibitors, and 15,000 visitors from around the world, and will be a key marketplace for the GB potato sector, with British-based companies gathering on the AHDB Exports stand to discuss both the past and upcoming export season with new and existing customers.

Exhibitors this year will include Greenvale AP, Caithness Potatoes, Cygnet PEP, James Hutton Ltd, Cullen Allen and SASA.

Greenvale AP's Niall Arbuckle described the show as the 'ideal venue' for striking deals with key clients in countries such as Egypt, Morocco, Israel and Jordan: “It’s an intense couple of days where we sit down with our customers and agree tonnages for the coming export season. We’ll discuss quality and quantity and the end result is usually 10,000 – 12,000 tonnes of potatoes ordered from our key customers.”

Caithness Potatoes' Stephen Hole agreed that Potato Europe was good for connecting with current and potential clients: “Potato Europe is a really important international meeting place, especially as in this business you don’t get many opportunities to sit down with your clients face to face.

“As well as discussing potential orders for the coming season we want to make our customers aware that have recently started producing seed in four European countries, Holland, France, Denmark and Poland. This will give European customers the opportunity to purchase high quality seed locally and so allows us to access previously untapped markets.”

AHDB’s head of crop trade market development, Rob Burns, will be on stand gathering intelligence and discussing the benefits of GB’s high health seed potato sector. He commented: “Britain currently exports seed potatoes to over 30 countries worldwide and AHDB is currently working on plans to both develop new markets and increase volumes currently going in to existing markets.

“We are looking to increase our exports in a number of areas including Russia, the Middle East and Brazil and the show offers us the chance to continue discussions with these target markets. Middle East and the Gulf states are of particular interest as potential new markets as their previous supplier of seed potatoes have limited production as part of water saving measures.”