Mallorca has been exporting potatoes to the United Kingdom since 1927 and future exports are now guaranteed because the British Government has agreed to change the regulations and allow Mallorcan potatoes to be sold in the British market.
Conditions for exporting companies are not the same as they were before Brexit, because London requires a phytosanitary certificate with more demanding standards than before, now that the potato has been classified as a ‘high priority product’.
"We will have to carry out some controls with a stricter certification and go through customs, but we are looking forward to seeing what the new situation will be like," said Joan Mateu, of Mateu Export. “The main thing is that we will guarantee the phytosanitary quality which has been achieved thanks to the efforts of the Ministry of Agriculture, the Producers and pressure from our customers.”
Alarm bells sounded a month ago when the UK said that in order to export potatoes, producers would have to proof that the land they were grown in is free from the bacteria Globodera Behrens and Blobodera Rostochiensis.
That requirement made it impossible to sell sa Pobla potatoes in Britain because the bacteria is endemic in Mallorca.
The Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries wrote to the UK’s Agriculture Minister, George Eustice, explaining the situation in the Balearic Islands and the importance of exporting potatoes to the British market.
70% of Spain's potato exports to the UK are grown in Mallorca and the business generates around 6 million euros a year.
Councillor Mae de la Concha said she had reached an agreement with the British Ministry "to continue exporting potatoes as before."
Mallorcan Producers have vowed to follow the rules set out by the National Regulatory Control System and ensure that their product is safe.
The potato export campaign is expected to begin in March and it will have different packaging conditions.
The British resolution was presented by Martin Socies, Pedro Mateu, Joan Cantallops, Jaume Mateu, Councillor Mae de la Concha, Fernando Fernández, Joan Company & Alexandre Soler at the Ministry of Agriculture.