Importation of UK potatoes to the Canary Islands authorized again

The Ministry of Agriculture has granted authorization for the import of potatoes from the UK to the Canary Islands, except for those originating from Kent, where the beetle was detected, subject to additional control measures.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food has authorized the import of potatoes from the United Kingdom to the Canary Islands. This decision was made in consultation with the autonomous counselor of the area, Narvay Quintero, and it comes with specific control measures in place. These measures exclude potatoes originating from the county of Kent, where the Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata) was detected. The decision to restrict potatoes from Kent is based on information provided by the phytosanitary authorities of the United Kingdom, which assures that the pest is not present in areas where it was previously located. This action aims to prevent the introduction of the pest to the Canary Islands.

The shortage of potatoes in the Canary Islands arose due to the Colorado beetle infestation in Kent, England, which raised concerns about the potato supply. Despite these concerns, the Canary Islands asserted that they had sufficient local potato production and access to potatoes from other countries, including Egypt, Israel, and Denmark.

Importation of UK potatoes authorized again.

To ensure the safety and traceability of imported potatoes, additional measures have been put in place. These measures include a cleaning procedure for potatoes that involves brushing or washing to eliminate soil and harmful organisms. The acceptable percentage of soil present on the potatoes is limited to 0.5%. Additionally, labeling requirements have been established, which include essential information such as the potato’s species, farmer’s code, variety, size, and packaging date. Furthermore, labeling must provide traceability to identify the producer and the production area at the plot level.

For seed potatoes, they must be packaged in new containers with a maximum capacity of 25 kilograms. These containers must be sealed and labeled in facilities that ensure health and traceability, all under the official control of the relevant phytosanitary authorities in the production areas. Consumer products may be presented in containers with a maximum capacity of 1.5 tons, which must also be sealed and labeled in authorized facilities that ensure health and traceability. These facilities are subject to control by the phytosanitary authorities of the production areas.

To maintain the integrity of these measures, inspections will be conducted on 100% of potato shipments from the United Kingdom.

The decision to allow potato imports, except from Kent, aims to address the immediate concerns regarding potato supply while preventing the introduction of the Colorado potato beetle to the Canary Islands. It is a collaborative effort involving the regional government, central government, and producers to ensure the availability of this essential food product for the Canary Islands.

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