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The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food of the Government of Spain has reported that it authorized the import of potatoes from the United Kingdom to the Canary Islands.
The Area advisor, Narvay Quintero, has explained that the State, the “competent authority in this area” has prepared a set of instructions that establishes that the import of potatoes from the UK is allowed, except those from Kent (the county where the potato beetle or Leptinotarsa decemlineata was detected), based on the information provided by the phytosanitary authorities of the United Kingdom, which ensures that the pest is not established and that the British Government has acted in the areas where it was located.
"The Government of the Canary Islands lacks powers in this matter, however, together with the Government of Spain and the producers we have sought solutions to the shortage of potatoes in order to protect the Canary Islands from the entry of this pest and to ensure the next harvest in the Islands and the supply of this basic product in the diet of the Canary Islands,” Quintero pointed out.
The head of the department pointed out that a series of additional application measures have been determined in relation to the packaging and labeling of the product "to reinforce and offer greater phytosanitary guarantees."
Thus, the potatoes must undergo a cleaning procedure, by brushing and/or washing, that allows the total elimination of traces of soil and harmful organisms, and it is specified that the acceptable percentage of soil present will be 0.5%.
The labeling must include, in addition to the potato's own data (species, farmer code, variety, size, and packaging date), traceability that allows identification of the producer and the production area at the plot level.
The seed potatoes must be bagged in new bags, with a maximum capacity of 25 kilos, sealed and labeled in facilities authorized for this purpose, which guarantee their health and traceability and under the official control of the corresponding phytosanitary authorities of the production areas.
As for those for consumption, these may be presented in containers of a maximum of 1.5 tons, which must be sealed and labeled in facilities authorized for this, which ensure their health and traceability and are also controlled by the phytosanitary authorities of the producing areas.
Likewise, it is stated that inspections will be carried out on 100% of potato shipments from the United Kingdom.