Potato Exports to Japan Pt 2

Potato Exports to Japan Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
From the Ag Information Network, I’m Bob Larson. Japan already receives a good number of processed and chipped U.S. potatoes but gaining access for fresh potatoes has been a struggle.

National Potato Council CEO Kam Quarles says the challenges are somewhat similar to those they’ve dealt with in Mexico …

QUARLES … “They have a small but very politically active domestic industry. They import no fresh table stock potatoes from anywhere right now. And I think clearly their industry likely doesn’t want to change that too much.”

Quarles says this effort goes back several years …

QUARLES … “Since that time, even though USDA and, I think, the entire administration has really prioritized this with Japan. The Japanese government has just kind of dug their heels in. And we had a bilateral negotiation last September and essentially there was no positive movement from the Japanese side on that to advance any of the necessary requirements to get the market open.”

It's frustrating, Quarles says but they’re not giving up …

QUARLES … “So, it’s a big stalling exercise right now by the Japanese and we’re trying to pry that open.”

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

Previous ReportPotato Exports to Japan Pt 1
Next ReportPotatoes R Vegetables Pt 1