Potatoes to Japan Pt 2

Potatoes to Japan Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
From the Ag Information Network, I’m Bob Larson. Folks from the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the National Potato Council will be halfway around the world tomorrow (Tuesday) for talks with their Japanese counterparts about expanding their import of fresh US potatoes.

NPC CEO Kam Quarles says this is the culmination of a 20-year effort …

QUARLES … “APHIS has made fresh potato access their highest priority for that bilateral meeting and we want to be there to support their efforts.”

Recently, Quarles says they’ve been getting a lot of support …

QUARLES … “You’ve already seen a number of efforts from Secretary Vilsack personally in his engagement with Japan. You’ve seen Ambassador Tai, Undersecretary Alexis Taylor and Undersecretary Jenny Moffitt, they’ve all individually been pressing on their Japanese counterparts to move this process along.”

Quarles believes Japan’s phytosanitary concerns are political …

QUARLES … “APHIS responded to that voluminous pest list and discounted the vast majority of those issues because they just simply didn’t apply between the two countries. APHIS responded very rapidly to that. Japan then responded in the last 24 hours with another pest list.”

Japan’s market for U.S. fresh potato is estimated at $150 to $200 million annually, once fully opened.

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