Potatoes to Japan Pt 2

Potatoes to Japan Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
From the Ag Information Network, I’m Bob Larson. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack is being asked, by a bipartisan Congressional group, for his help to gain acceptance of U.S. fresh table stock potatoes in Japan.

Kam Quarles, National Potato Council President, says Japan has been dragging its feet on the matter for almost 30 years …

QUARLES … “The market overall is really not able to be served by the small industry that they have in Japan. That’s why, every few years, you’ll see these wild swings in prices for potatoes in Japan. It’s because the shortages generated because they simply don’t have the capacity to produce domestically.”

Japan’s phytosanitary concerns, Quarles says are questionable …

QUARLES … “Simply let us know Japan, what are you concerned about. What are the necessary steps you see that will provide you with the security to allow these U.S. fresh potatoes to be imported safely.”

Because, Quarles says, that won’t be a problem …

QUARLES … “Obviously, we ship potatoes around the world right now. We’ve got the very highest quality, best production anywhere on the globe is in the United States where any legitimate scientific concerns the Japanese have can be addressed by the United States.”

The U.S. potato industry estimates access to Japan will result in an additional $150-million per year export market.

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