After graduating from the Scottish Agricultural College with a degree in Agriculture Nici started her potato career with McCain Foods Seed Potato Business in Montrose. Gaining experience in all aspects of seed potato production she held posts of both Operations Manager and Production manager over an 11 year period. Nici joined Grampian Growers as Field Production manager in 2017 where she is responsible for the production of potatoes from their members and manages the GPS breeding programme. She is married with two young children and enjoys playing hockey and coaching swimming in her spare time.
After graduating from Aberdeen University, I spent a couple of years as Assistant Farms Manager at Strathmore Estates, Glamis before starting my career in potatoes with Nickerson Seeds supervising their own growing seed area. Following a brief spell in Yorkshire, again with Nickersons, I returned home to become Managing Director at A.J.Allan, where I remained until the company was sold to IPM in 2012. Currently I am Commercial Director at J & E Smillie, Perth responsible for their own growing and the marketing of the production from a growers’ group, A & F Growers.
I started in the industry from school, doing various jobs from delivering to shops through to trading, I then joined Hilliard and Porter as Yorkshire Manager for 6 years, followed by 26 years as General Manager at Ibbotsons Produce seeing the business grow from packing 50t per week to 800t with responsibility for purchasing, transport, seed and the Colton Group, McCain Account. For the last 5 years, I have been Key account manager at Wolds Produce involved with the production of potatoes for crisp factories, ware/seed Trading and the Alpha Group, McCain account. I have been married to Kath for 43 years and we have 2 sons and 4 grandchildren.
Robin was born and raised on a farm in South Africa, he moved to the UK in 2001. After studying at Bishop Burton he has spent in excess of 14 years in the potato industry. Robin spent 8 years potato trading for a supermarket packer. He then joined Agrinite in 2014, where he is now a partner. Always working to engage the next generation of growers and customers. Robin is married to Hannah and has 11 year old twins he also is a keen sportsman including Triathlons, Rugby & Golf.
I started in the potato industry in 1992 working for Branston Potatoes Ltd, as an Agronomist in the earlier years then taking on seed management as well where I was responsible for seed production, sales and variety development. In 2012 I moved to KWS UK to take over as the Product Manager for potatoes looking after variety selection from the Dutch breeding programme for the UK market and the seed production programme in Scotland and England. In 2016 STET BV bought out the potato breeding programme from KWS and I joined STET in the same year starting the UK company as the Managing Director.
Tel: 01522 700188
Mobile : 07788 311967
Email : Peter.email@example.com
After studying for a National Certificate and a National Diploma in Agriculture at the Lincolnshire College of Agriculture I joined KP Agriculture in the mid 1990’s to supply crisping potatoes to their factory. In the 2000’s KP Agriculture was taken over by Higgins which enabled me to monitor and advise on potato crops grown for seed and also chipping, alongside the crisping contracts.
In 2007 I moved to Lambweston to help produce and maintain their grower base on new varieties and increase their production in the UK. This involved extensive travel to Europe and also to America.
In 2017 I moved to RS Cockerill at York to broaden my knowledge and experience of the ware trade side of the industry.
I am married to Fran, live in Beverley in Yorkshire, have a daughter Scarlett, son Archie, plus step daughters Becky and Ellen.
Joined BPTA Council in the summer of 2018.
Tel: 01904 488735
Mobile: 07740 488102
Those BPTA members and their guests who attended the 2018 BPTA Potato Industry Dinner at Perth on 22nd February 2018 raised £590 in the Charity Raffle. This was rounded up to £600 and donated to My Name’5 Doddie Foundation – a Motor Neuron Disease charity named for Doddie Weir the former Scottish Rugby Union internationalist. A thank you letter from the charity is below. Thanks to all who contributed by donating prizes and giving generously.
BPTA, in association with SASA, is hosting a 2 day Tuber Classification Training course on Thursday 9th & Friday 10th November 2017. Please see flyer below for more information and an application form. The course is open to non-BPTA members.
Immediate Past President Russ Kelsey received a gift from fellow BPTA Council members to mark his Presidency. President Graeme Prentice performed the honours at a dinner in Edinburgh on 27th June 2017.
Please click on the image below to view a thank you letter from the Children with Cancer charity acknowledging receipt of a donation of £500 raised by BPTA members attending the Curling Dinner at Perth on 3rd March 2017
AHDB Potatoes has informed BPTA that the following emergency authorisation will be issued on 15th May of the use of Cuprokylt (Copper oxychloride) to control blight in potatoes for a period of 120 days. This will be welcomed by the organic sector and has been gained with the approval of the Soil Association.
It is expected that the formal authorisation will be released on 15th May 2017. Without being in possession of this authorisation the pesticide must not be applied.
• This emergency authorisation does not take effect until 15th May.
• It lasts for 120 days and therefore expires on 12th September.
• When applying this product under the terms of this Emergency Authorisation, comply with any resistance guidance or restrictions stated on the product label.
• Neither the efficacy nor the phytotoxicity of the product for which this authorisation has been granted has been assessed and, as such, the user bears in mind the risk in respect of failures concerning its efficacy or phytotoxicity.
Please click on the image below to view a thank you letter from the Children with Cancer charity acknowledging receipt of a donation of £350 raised by BPTA members attending the Curling Dinner at Perth on 26th February 2016.
Sandy works with Cygnet PEP Ltd based at Blairfield Farms, Milnathort, Scotland. Cygnet PEP are the UK’s largest exporter of seed potatoes specialising in both free and protected varieties to markets across Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and beyond. Sandy has worked in the seed potato industry since his graduation from Aberdeen University in 2004 and has spent time in the employment of both the IPM Potato Group and Grampian Growers. Sandy travels extensively in his role with Cygnet PEP and has had a strong focus on seed potato exports since he entered to sector so is currently chair of the BPTA export committee as well as serving on the Brexit and Europatat committees. Having recently been appointed as BPTA Vice Chair he is very keen to engage with members and would encourage any of the membership to be in touch to discuss BPTA business.
Away from work Sandy has 2 young children and lives in North East Fife. His interests include cycling, rugby, golf, and travel.
Having completed an HND in Agriculture at Harper Adams, I started my career with Ross Produce (now Greenvale AP) at Market Drayton in August 1986 as a ‘fieldsperson’. This gave me the opportunity to learn on the job from field walking, through to buying, trading and selling seed along with building up technical knowledge of the crop. I spent 14 years in the Midlands before moving to the South West to manage the early Cornish crop, salads and maincrop across the South West building relationships with growers and supplying the factory in Shropshire. In 2014 after 27 years I moved to Branston Potatoes where I am the Procurement Manager for the South West.
I was elected to the BPTA in June 2016 and sit on the ware committee.
I live in Somerset with my husband David an Environmental advisor (to many potato growers) and we have 4 grown up children. I play tennis in my spare time and enjoy walking the dogs in the beautiful South West.
At the BPTA AGM on 6th July outgoing President Russ Kelsey announced the result of the BPTA Council Election 2016.
There were 3 vacancies on Council. The vacancies arose from the normal retiral of Graham Bennett, Jim McCreight and Andrew Skea.
Two nominations for Council were received from the membership which meant that for the second consecutive year but only the second time in the history of BPTA there was the need for an election. Ballot papers were issued to the membership and 39 were returned by deadline of 6pm on 27th June 2016 representing an turnout of 36% of the electoral roll. The following is the result of the ballot:
McGOWAN Sandy 34 votes Elected
SKEA Andrew 23 votes Re-elected
CLIFFE Angela 22 votes Elected
BENNETT Graham 21 votes Not elected
McCREIGHT Jim 7 votes Not elected
Sandy McGowan (Grampian Growers Ltd) and Angela Cliffe (Branston Ltd) have therefore joined Council.
and Andrew Skea has been re-elected
Graham Bennett and Jim McCreight step down from Council and were thanked for their service.
Graeme Prentice (left) is congratulated on becoming the 6th President of the British Potato Trade Association by Russ Kelsey who becomes the BPTA’s immediate Past President. The handshake took place at Ibbotsons, Tadcaster where the Association held its 10th AGM on 6th July 2016.
Paul Wood replaces Graeme as Vice-President
and Jonathon Rooke was installed as Deputy Vice-President.
The Association Secretary is on holiday and then at British Potato at Harrogate on 13th November. The BPTA Office will be closed until Monday 15th November 2015. If your business is urgent phone 07518404330 and leave a message.
David Burks is the Marketing Director and one of the founder Shareholder Members at Whole Crop Marketing Limited based in the East Riding of Yorkshire. He has previously been a senior potato buyer at E Park & Sons and before that a potato buyer at MBM Produce Ltd. David was co-opted to Council in October and immediately installed as Chair of its Ware Committee. David grew up on a mixed farm in the heart of the Yorkshire wold where his company now concentrates its large operation of seed production. He is married to Rebecca and they have two children Jacob (9) and Jessica (7). His interests include golf, shooting and gardening, taking over from the hole left by quitting Cricket and Rugby for Driffield 5 years ago.
Miriam Doe began her career in the potato industry as a temporary seed potato growing crop inspector for the Scottish Government based in the Angus area while on summer holidays from University. Following graduation, she started full time employment at Greenvale AP in 2006 as a fieldsperson and in 2010 she became Seed QC Manager. In February 2015 Miriam moved to WCF Horticulture as seed buyer, purchasing approximately 3000 tonnes for the horticultural market.
When she is not working Miriam enjoys curling for Dunsinane Curling Club and training her horse with a view to entering competitions next year.
Miriam is Committee member of the Royal Highland Education Trust – a charity which promotes food and farming to school children. She is currently working on a new potato growing project for schools within Perth and Kinross.
The Association Secretary is attending the BPTA RUCIP Training Event on 21st and 22nd October and BPTA Council meeting on 23rd October 2015. The BPTA Office will be closed until Monday 26th October 2015. If your business is urgent phone 07518404330 and leave a message.
It was with regret that Council heard of the recent death of John Nightingale. John passed peacefully in his sleep last week at the age of 82. He had been suffering poor health of late.
John’s career in the industry spanned from 1982 starting with Pattullo Higgs before moving to the potato section of the Ross Group (who ultimately became Greenvale) until his retirement around 2000.
He served on NASPM Council and chaired its Education & Entertainment Committee for many years. The Association Secretary has written to John’s daughter, Charlotte to express condolences on behalf of BPTA Council and membership.
The BPTA AGM 2015 was held at SASA, Edinburgh on 1st July 2015 with 10 member companies in attendance and another 10 member companies voting by proxy. President Russ Kelsey welcomed Miriam Doe (WCF Horticulture Ltd) onto Council and paid tribute to Tony Barnes who has stepped down. The AGM approved all 3 motions – to accept the 2014-15 accounts; to re-appoint Henderson Loggie as the Association’s accountants and to maintain 2015-16 membership subscriptions at 2014-15 levels..
Russ Kelsey delivered his address to the AGM and a copy can be accessed by following the link below. Following the AGM John Speirs of the Scottish Government delivered a presentation on Plant Health. A copy of this presentation will be posted on the BPTA website shortly.
“Potatoes: what are the threats they face and what can we do to save our spuds?” On Monday 22nd June sense about science is running a live Q&A with a panel of scientists who are all researching different ways to protect our potatoes. More information can be found by following the link below.
The UK Plant Health Services have issued a letter updating the position with findings of Epitrix on potatoes imported from previously non-demarcated areas of Spain. The letter and accompanying leaflet are reproduced below.
Epitrix is a very damaging pest of potato from North America that is now established in Spain and Portugal and imported potatoes from these countries represents a real and present threat to the UK potato industry. The threat posed by this pest and measures that are being taken and possibly proposed in the future should be of grave interest to all those who make a living from potatoes in this country. Please take time to consider this matter.
Notice is given of the BPTA AGM 2015 on 1st July 2015 and an Invitation extended to the associated buffet luncheon at SASA, Edinburgh. Luncheon from 1pm and AGM commences at 2pm. Following the AGM there will be a presentation on EU Plant Health proposals. For more details and an application form see Flyer below.
The Association Secretary is accompanying BPTA President Russ Kelsey and BPTA Europatat Committee Chairman Colin Herron to the Europatat Congress in Dusseldorf, Germany on 7th & 8th May 2015. Therefore the BPTA Office is closed until Monday, 11th May 2015.
BPTA in conjunction with SASA is planning to hold a 2 day Growing Crop Classification Training Course on Monday 29th & Tuesday 30th June 2015 at Gogarbank,Edinburgh.(The BPTA AGM takes place at SASA on Wednesday 1st July 2015.) Further details and an application form can be found in the following link:
Applications are now being received for participation in the 2015 BPTA Fishing Competition which will take place on Wednesday 3rd June 2015 at Rutland Water. Further details and an application form are in the link below.
The Haigh Trophy has been awarded to Bob Doig. The presentation was made by Russ Kelsey, BPTA President to Rob Doig (Bob’s son) at a dinner in Dundee on 14th November 2014. Bob was unable to attend in person due to his wife being taken ill.
Robert (Bob) Doig has been involved and pro-active in the potato industry spanning 6 decades. He is renowned for promoting a sustainable, people based potato industry that is grown by forging lasting relationships with both suppliers and customers at every level. He has impacted on the potato industry at every level from breeding and variety development as a member of the Caithness group of companies, through the championing of Scottish seed potatoes to liaison with multiple retailers. On a political level he was instrumental in advocating the move from the former Potato Marketing Board towards a body much more suited to today’s industry. As such he has had considerable influence on the industry as we know it today. He served on the Council of the Scottish Potato Trade Association and served as its President during 1991-94. He still plays an active role in the business he founded (Robert Doig Ltd) along with his wife, Zella, who bred a number of the varieties currently being marketed by Caithness, and his son Robert, who manages the business today.
BPTA in association with SASA is running a Tuber Classification Training Refresher Course on Tuesday 4th November 2014 at Gogarbank, Edinburgh. The delegate fee including lunch, refreshments and Vat is £240. If you are interested please contact the BPTA Secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org 0131 623 0183. Further details and an application form can be found in the links below.
Follow the link below for a summary of SASA’s 2014 Scottish potato growing crop survey for Dickeya. The good news is that there were no positive findings again this year. SASA comment that these results reinforce the view that if industry continues to purchase Scottish-origin seed freedom from this damaging pathogen can be maintained.
The BPTA Secretary is attending Potato Europe at Hanover, Germany and is then on holiday. Consequently the BPTA Office is closed. The office will be open on Friday this week for a short period between 10 am and 12 noon and will then close again until Monday 15th September 2014. If your business is urgent please phone the BPTA Secretary on 07518 404330.
The 8th Annual General meeting of the Association took place on 1st July 2014 at Boston West Golf Club, Hubbert’s Bridge, Boston, Lincolnshire. There were 16 attendees representing 15 member companies and therefore the required quorum of 14 was achieved.The meeting heard Andrew Skea deliver his second and final Report of Council – a copy of which can be found in the ‘members-only’ area of the website. A motion to adopt the Association’s Accounts for the year to 31st March 2014 was proposed by Gerard Croft, seconded by Colin Herron and approved by the meeting. Andrew Skea also proposed that Henderson Loggie should be appointed as the Association’s accountants for the year to 31st March 2015. This motion was seconded by Tony Barnes and approved by the meeting. Andrew Skea introduced the Association’s Budget for 2014-2015 and explained a proposal to introduce a new lower bandwidth of 0-500 tonnes of seed potatoes for the calculation of membership subscriptions provided that the qualifying member did not trade more than 2,000 tonnes of ware potatoes. A 3% increase in BPTA membership subscriptions across the board was also proposed to match inflation and to create a reserve equivalent to one year’s trading.The motion was proposed by Tony Barnes, seconded by Paul Wood and carried by the meeting.The 5 Council members who were required to retire all offered themselves for re-election and there was one new nomination received from the membership. As there was also a resignation all 6 nominations were accepted without the need for an election. John Addams-Williams, Nigel Allam, Tony Barnes, Gerard Croft and Paul Wood will remain on Council and will be joined by Jonathon Rooke of HZPC UK Ltd who will fill the vacancy created by Philip Burgess’ resignation following his appointment with the Potato Council. Lastly, Andrew Skea installed Russ Kelsey as the 5th President of the Association. Graeme Prentice becomes Vice President and Paul Wood the Deputy Vice President. Russ thanked Andrew for his Presidency and closed the meeting by inviting Caroline Evans, Head of Marketing and Corporate Affairs at the Potato Council to speak to the meeting. A formal minute of the AGM will be sent to members shortly.
The BPTA Secretary is travelling today to Boston, Lincolnshire prior to attending BPTA Council meeting and BPTA AGM tomorrow. Therefore the BPTA office is now closed until 8.30am on Thursday 3rd July 2014. I shall have intermittent access to email during this period. If your business is urgent please call 07518 404330 and if necessary leave a message.
BPTA organised a successful fishing competition at Rutland Water on Wednesday, 4th June 2014.The weather promised another wash out but turned out a fine day albeit with an odd shower. Eleven anglers braved the conditions and Ross Haynes (pictured with his best fish weighing in at 4lb 9oz) was again the best individual with a total catch of 9lb 14oz.
The full Role of Honour was:
1st Ross Haynes – 9lb 14oz
2nd Dougie Waters – 5lb.
3rd Paul Wood – 3lb 8oz
1st Ross Haynes – 4lb 9oz
2nd Dougie Waters – 2lb 8oz
3rd Mark Oughtred – 1lb 13oz
1st Ross Haynes and Andrew Lorimer – 11lb 9oz
2nd Paul Wood, Rob Doig and Ed Parker – 5lb 2oz
3rd Paul Shepherd and Dougie Waters – 5lb
The Scottish Government hosted a Plant Health Workshop on 18th March 2014 at SASA, Edinburgh at which BPTA attended along with other stakeholder organisations. The event was opened by Paul Wheelhouse, MSP, the Minister for Environment and Climate Change, who announced the development of a Scottish Plant Health Strategy.
Please follow the link below to access the programme and presentations.
BPTA Council decided that it would support 2 charities at its 2013 Dinner & Dance held at the Woodlands Hotel, Broughty Ferry on Friday, 22nd November 2013. The 2 charities chosen were Farm Africa (which helps African farmers grow themselves out of poverty) and Scotty’s Little Soldiers (which helps the children of men and women killed while serving in the British Armed Forces). Due to the generosity of patrons attending the Dinner & Dance and those businesses that donated prizes the marvelous sum of £1,000 was raised and this was equally divided between the 2 charities. Letters of thanks from the 2 supported charities can be viewed below.
The Scottish Society for Crop Research (SSCR) Potato Sub-committee is pleased to invite you to attend the Potato Winter Meeting at The James Hutton Institute, Dundee DD2 5DA on Monday 24 March 2014.
The programme can be found by following the link below.
Please note that this meeting is free for SSCR members but there is a £15 attendance fee for non-members. Membership of SSCR costs £15 a year and there will be the opportunity to join at the meeting.
Attendees are requested to pre-register.
Please confirm your attendance to: Sharon Neilson, Events Co-ordinator, The James Hutton Institute, Dundee DD2 5DA Tel: 01382 568 750 Email: email@example.comBASIS points have been applied for and will be available to attendees on the day
Our curling trophy has been competed for since 1937. Winners of the 2013/14 competition are: Gavin Walker, Findlay Russell, Craig Watson, Colin Herron (skip).
8 teams have participated each year for the last c10? years. At least another two teams would like to take part next season so we may change the format slightly – please contact Andrew Skea if you’d like to put a team forward. Also welcome would be suggestions for format of the competition.
President Andrew Skea and Secretary, Charlie Greenslade are attending Fruit Logistica in Berlin 4th-6th February 2014 and will represent BPTA at Europatat’s Seed and Packers Commission meetings. As a consequence the BPTA office will be closed until Monday, 10th February 2014.
The Europatat Congress will take place in Brussels on 22-23 May 2014.
Europatat is about to open the sponsorship opportunities to non-members. 2 of the 4 sponsor places have already been taken up!
The congress website has been finalised and on-line registration is now possible. The public announcement will take place next week, provided the majority of key note speakers have confirmed. Make sure you benefit from this opportunity and enjoy the visibility of our communications during the FruitLogistica trade fair!
The document below provides further information on the 2 attractive packages which have been established with a discount for direct members.
The link below will open up a letter from Defra launching a UK Plant Health Risk Register. The Register is a tool for government, industry and stakeholders to prioritise action against pests and diseases which threaten our crops, trees, gardens and countryside. Your Association was one of the stakeholder organisations that were involved in the construction of the Register.