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Update on issues with exports of potatoes to the Canary Islands

Defra with support of colleagues from the British Embassy in Madrid were able to secure an urgent meeting on the 31 August 2023 with representatives from the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food (MAPA) regarding the recent prohibition introduced by the Canary Islands Authorities on imports of potatoes from the UK. Given the importance of the UK trade in potatoes with the canaries there was a recognition on all sides that a speedy resolution to the situation was required. Information provided by Defra in advance of the meeting to support the UK position was well received and the meeting was conducted in a positive manner.

Following the meeting MAPA officials took away the information provided by Defra for further consideration with relevant parties within their ministry, which subsequently led to a request for additional information. Defra provided the information requested on the 01 September 2023 and we are now awaiting the outcome of discussions between MAPA and the Canary Island Authorities regarding the possibility of the lifting of the restrictions.