Potatoes Ship to China
Northwest potato growers are giving each other high-fives --- after China finally takes actions to begin implementing ag-related commitments of the Phase-One trade agreement.
The one that potato growers are most interested in is China will now allow the import of fresh chipping potatoes from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.
Matt Lantz is with Bryant Christie, a company that offers assistance on market access and foreign government affairs, and he says bringing fresh potatoes into China has been a long time coming.
“Well, this is fantastic news for several reasons. First of all, we’ve been working on this for 20-years, so it’s a generation old. And so, as of today, the market is open. It’s also great news because it’s the first time China has ever allowed imported fresh potatoes from anywhere, so this is really an historic opportunity for us.”
He says, they still have to establish the market and make sure that shipping is done successfully, but once up and running they expect big things.
“You can maybe look at the opportunities we had back when we opened Japan for chipping potatoes in 2006, and now that’s a $20-million market. You know, and Japan is with limited window for exports, and you would not have that with China. So, we’re hoping a lot more people in China, a lot more factories in China, and no shipping windows so, who knows, we’ll see where it goes from here.”
Shipping however has been an issue - as coronavirus has created some obstacles.