Jamieson Brothers of Annan who trade under the brand name JBA Seed Potatoes are a family business established in 1895 and hold the world record for having the most potato varieties on display at one time with 667 shown, at Gardening Scotland in 2013.
Thompson & Morgan have also withdrawn from the seed potato market this year. This means garden centres, other than own-brand JBA, WCF and Taylors are the main players left in the market. Westland/Unwins machinery will transfer to JBA in Annan, south west Scotland.
Meanwhile, Government representatives from Scotland and Brazil met in July to simplify the import classification requirements for seed potatoes.
Brazil produces circa 3.6m tonnes of potatoes a year according to UN figures, however in terms of productivity yields are only two thirds of what is achieved by UK growers.
This agreement could set the path for a significant increase in the tonnage of British seed exported to Brazil, which is likely to help increase yields for the growers that plant them.
Representatives from both countries will meet again in January to finalise discussions on removing requirement for disease testing on GB seed potatoes entering Brazil. AHDB organised and funded the meeting.
Recent official seed trials in Kenya conducted with Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA) saw 10 varieties sent for trialling, four free varieties - Atlantic, Cara, Hermes and Russet Burbank – and six commercial varieties provided by the James Hutton Institute. The varieties selected are processing varieties that are expected to thrive in hot, dry conditions.