Solana Seeds UK

Company:Solana Seeds UK
Description:The Solana Group breeds modern potato varieties, and produces and distributes high-quality seed potatoes. Throughout its history they have always pursued the goal of breeding resistant, high-yielding varieties and supplying high-quality seed stock.
Contact:Craig Stephen
Email:Email This Member
Tel:01263 860609
Mobile:07795 562 718
Address:Unit 4, Stody Hall Barns
Melton Constable
NR24 2ED

The potato portal – new buyer and grower ‘match-making’ website live

AHDB Potatoes has now launched:

The potato portal – new buyer and grower ‘match-making’ website live

You can find information about the portal at where you can find a link to access the portal. BPTA is aware that while some members will welcome this initiative others are less enthusiastic about it.  Whatever your view it is incumbent for BPTA to make known its existence to its membership.

Global Potato Conclave 2020 Roadmap to a better World – report by Claire Hodge

In January 2020 India hosted the Global Potato Conclave, an opportunity to consider India’s position in a global potato industry and how a nation will write a roadmap to a better world. The notion that potatoes could make the world even better seems like a grand target, or perhaps impossible from a UK perspective.

Take a step back from potatoes in India to understand why it’s critical and not whimsical, that India must consider crops such as potatoes as an opportunity to change the world. India has a population of almost 1.4 Billion and quickly rising with India’s per capita income (nominal) was $1670 per year in 2016, ranked at 112th out of 164 countries by the World Bank, this is a very low starting point however with healthy year on year growth (pre pandemic).  43 % of the population are relying on agriculture for income and this provides huge opportunity to turn to the potential of the potato crop to produce a nutritious and environmentally sustainable food that generates good financial returns.

The Prime Minster of Mali opened the Global Potato Conclave underlining the ambitious targets the government is setting out set for the agricultural sector. They aim to double farmers income by exporting to their Asian neighbours as key to this increase. In order to achieve this standards need raising and effective supply chains will need to be bettered structured.

With land and labour in abundance, if India is managed effectively it can could see a decrease in poverty for many rural communities. Innovation is going to be critical, working with global partners and in some cases leapfrogging technologies that are standard in established western systems, which will come with risk but huge opportunity for reward.

The domestic consumption of potatoes in India is very low at 24kg per person per year. Particularly when compared to the 100kg per person per year in the UK. Traditionally India has been sustained by rice and cereal production, however this varies across regions with some areas historically being quite reliant on potato crops. There are multiple factors which makes the potato a promising opportunity with advantages in nutrition, environmental, economic and social trends.

There is a strong appetite for innovation an ideal not only for local businesses in India but the wider world is also watching and in many cases supporting development. When much of production is at grass roots stage there is a sense of ambition and opportunity to try some radical approaches. Access to digital tools and resource in digital modelling and programming is affordable and in many cases local. There are many programmes being implemented for pest and disease modelling. With data captured at a crop level often using a combination of smartphone technology and satellite imagery to then develop crop management tools using machine learning, however there is a race to market and like in many counties this does create a fragmented delivery. For success scale and farmer education will need to be at the core and you will often find this connected to government and academic institutes but that still need commerciality. Demonstrating an increase in on farm returns through increased yields or stable supply chain prices will be the ultimate measure of success.

Opportunities to try different things, no till potatoes! At the conference I met with the researchers at CIP who were working with farmers to grow potatoes using rice paddy and harvesting above ground. The purpose may have been borne from a different challenge as they were looking at how to increase production across the country in areas where land is just not suitable to root cropping systems. The challenge here in Europe is from a more environmental, soil degradation stand point and PCN control, however the learnings are the same. They based the principles on what resources they had and what would they need to redevelop and what will they need to understand better to grow potatoes without soil disruption. They were achieving good yields and amazing skin finish, but finding varieties was the next phase to progress.

Potato breeding and variety development seems to be the biggest barrier to progress I could see and there is clear frustration as debates were had about interpretation of policies which are a barrier to new varieties coming into the market. Farmers are predominantly growing traditional varieties, which are low yielding and susceptible to many pest and disease pressures. There is also lack of access to certified seed and wide spread seed piracy. The breeding programmes are controlled by the government and research organisations with some movement on international varieties getting through the system. This can change but it will take time and investment from exporting countries in building relationships as the dynamics of the potato industry progress, investment in processing plants and secure supply chain structures are likely to be the driving factor.

 The potato market in India offers great opportunity but with opportunity comes risk and there remains many social barriers. The people I met at the Global Potato Conclave have a global perspective and strive to establish international networks with other potato trading nations. Change is happening fast as they take action, building a roadmap to a better world.

My time in India was part of my Nuffield Scholarship and funded by the BPTA, BPGA and Strathmore potatoes. This will be part of my final Nuffield report on the connectivity in the global seed potato supply chain. I am very grateful to the UK potato industry in supporting my study and helping me develop ideas to consider the future of the potato industry.

*figures World Bank

BPTA Bursary

BPTA Council, at its meeting in Perth on 20th February 2020, reconfirmed its intention to set aside annually in its budget a sum of money to provide the opportunity to award a discretionary grant to individuals who pursue an educational goal which when shared with others will be for the betterment of the potato industry. Further details are contained in the box below.

Recognition of Vincent Lumb’s long service on Council

Vincent Lumb of Pan European Potato Enterprise Ltd receives a token of appreciation from BPTA President, Paul Wood in recognition of his long service on BPTA and before that on SPTA Council.

Vincent served for over a quarter of a century in aggregate during which time he served as President of SPTA between 2002-2004 and most recently led BPTA’s Export Committee

Nici Smith

Nici Smith

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.

Contact Nici:

Tel: 01673 838 900
Mobile: 07384 253857

Alistair Melrose

Alistair Melrose

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.

Contact Alistair

Tel: 01738 633571
Fax: 01738 620830
Mobile: 07740 215111

John Wright

John Wright

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.

Contact John

Tel: 01759 305627
Mobile: 07860 600555

Robin Kitching

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.

Contact Robin:

Tel: 01673 838 900
Mobile: 07958 042 072

Peter Hewett

Peter Hewett

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.

Contact Peter:

Tel: 01522 700188
Mobile : 07788 311967
Email :

Richard Dannatt

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.

Contact Richard
Tel: 01904 488735
Mobile: 07740 488102

2018 Curling Dinner Raffle – Charity Donation

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.


Review of the Plant Health (Export Certification) Fees as charged by the Scottish Government

The Scottish Government has launched a consultation on its Review of the Plant Health (Export Certification) Fees. The consultation document can be found at –  and you can respond at


Germicopa UK Ltd

Company: Germicopa UK Ltd
Description:Germicopa breeds potato varieties matching customers’ agronomic, industrial, culinary and environmental requirements from diversified genetic resources that are constantly enhanced.
Contact: Warren Keyes
Email: Email this member
Tel: +44 7876 442287
Fax: –
Address:1 Wold View Road North
East Yorkshire
YO25 6RP

Monitoring and control of the potato brown rot bacterium in irrigation water

Defra has published a Plant Pest Factsheet on Monitoring and control of the potato brown rot bacterium in irrigation water. This follows findings of Ralstonia solanacearum in river water in parts of Cambridgeshire in 2016. The factsheet can be found here –


Cuprokylt (Copper oxychloride)

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.

Please note:
• 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.

Sandy McGowan

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.

Contact –

Angela Cliffe

Angela Cliffe

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.

Please contact Angela:

Tel: 01460 240862



BPTA Council Election 2016

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.

Sandy McGowan - croppedAngela Cliffe

and Andrew Skea has been re-elected


Graham Bennett and Jim McCreight step down from Council and were thanked for their service.

Graeme Prentice takes office as BPTA President

Presidential handshake with Graeme Prentice and Russ Kelsey

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.

Jon Rooke

David Burks

David Burks

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.

Please contact David:
Office:01377 217873

Miriam Doe

Miriam Doe

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.

To contact Miriam:

Tel: 01738 584109

The Potato Link

Company: The Potato Link
Description:The trading of potatoes from farm to the wholesale market with the advantage of grading, packing and storing with logistics.
Contact: Richard Taylor
Email: Email this member
Tel: 07771 331256
Address:17 Oak Lane


John Nightingale

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.

President’s AGM Report July 2015

President Russ Kelsey addresses AGM 2015 with Deputy Vice President Paul Wood BPTA members attending AGM 2015 John Speirs (Scottish Government) delivers his Plant Health presentation at BPTA AGM 2015

“Potatoes: what are the threats they face and what can we do to save our spuds?”

“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.

potatoes (1)

Epitrix Update

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.Epitrix

Defra ltr re Epitrix 040615

Epitrix pest alert 4 – June 2015

Award of the Haigh Trophy 2014: Bob Doig

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.

CitationPresident Russ Kelsey presents the Haigh Trophy awarded to Bob Doig to his son Rob Doig 2014

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.

Haigh Trophy Certificate Doig 2014

Jon Rooke

Jon Rooke

Jon Rooke – is the production manager for HZPC UK. Jon was brought up on the family farm in North Yorkshire. He went to Harper Adams to study Agriculture with crop management in 2003. Once qualified he started at Greenvale AP at Tern Hill in 2007 as a graduate and soon moved into managing there Own Growing operation in the West. After 6 years he moved back to Yorkshire and now manages HZPCs UK seed growers.

Jon lives on a farm a few miles north of York with his wife Charlotte, who makes wedding cakes professionally ( and his children Bertie and  Mabel. In his spare time he enjoys shooting, golf  and playing cricket.

Contact Jon

John Williams

John Addams Williams

Puffin Produce is a grower owned business that supplies potatoes and other seasonal vegetables that are solely grown and packed in Wales.
I chair the BPTA Seed Regulations Committee and represent the BPTA on the AHDB Treater Group and the APHA Seed Potato Classification Taskforce.

Contact John:
Tel: 01473 766716
Mobile: 07930 230613

Graeme Prentice

Graeme Prentice - cropped

IPM Potato Group Ltd is an international leader in potato variety innovation and in the production, marketing and distribution of seed potatoes and is committed to delivering the best varieties for all potato customers: growers, processors, packers, retailers and consumers, through the supply of high quality seed at the start of the production chain.
Since joining IPM in 2002, Graeme has held various roles throughout the business from seed production, operations, logistics, business development and is currently responsibility for international licensing and UK commercial interests.
Graeme was elected to BPTA Council in 2010 and chaired the Export Committee before progressing to the Executive Committee in 2012 and taking office as the Association President in 2016.
A sports enthusiast, Graeme particularly likes curling and football and enjoys spending family time with his wife Nicola and son Sam.

To contact Graeme:


Graham Bennett


Graham Bennett is a Director at Wolds Produce Ltd since 2012. Wolds market over 70,000 tonnes of potatoes each season from the processing to the packing market. Graham was previously Seed Development Manager and helped Wolds grow its seed potato portfolio to around 450 acres of high grade seed from mini tuber to commercial grade. On leaving school Graham served an apprenticeship as an Agricultural Engineer for an International Harvester dealership before finding a sure footing in sales.
He lives in his native North Yorkshire with his wife Beck and their 3 sons: George, Harry and Charlie where he enjoys mountain biking particularly in the North Yorkshire Moors National Park.

To contact Graham:


Colin Herron

Colin Herron - cropped

Colin Herron ( BPTA Past President 2008-2010) is General Manager of McCain Foods (GB) Ltd based at Pugeston, Montrose. Previously on the Council of SPTA, Colin succeeded John Bell (IPM Potato Group Ltd) as the second President of BPTA and immediately set about raising the profile of the new organization both at home and abroad.
Colin championed the BPTA’s membership of Europatat our European umbrella organization and spear-headed the BPTA’s hosting of Europatat’s prestige annual Congress in Edinburgh in May 2010 when the new constitution for the European potato trade organization was ratified.
Colin remains active in Europatat affairs through his chairing of its Technical & Regulatory Issues Commission.
Colin is married with two children and likes to keep himself fit by running and cycling.

Please contact Colin:


Nigel Allam

Nigel Allam

I have spent 25 years in the potato industry, primarily as a producer in Herefordshire in the 90’s and noughties, then as a Director of an agri-business in East Anglia, where I worked for 10 years. I currently work in the seed potato industry, sourcing and supplying for ASDA through IPL.
My farming pedigree ensures my ‘grower interests’ remain to the fore, having operated on both sides of the fence.
I still live in Herefordshire, and operate my seed and consultancy business from there, travelling extensively throughout the UK and Western Europe.
I am married to Michele, and we have a son and daughter who live in Bristol and Surrey respectively.

Please contact Nigel:


Martin Cockerill

Martin Cockerill

Martin Cockerill is the Managing Director of RS Cockerill York Ltd and has spent the whole of his working life in the potato industry. The company is based near York supplying potatoes to both retailers, wholesale markets and processors. The company operates a packhouse with storage and loading facilities. Their farming business grows around 200 ha of potatoes mainly for processing.The company is involved in potato variety evaluation and conducts annual field trials. An increasing tonnage of both ware and seed potatoes are bought on contract rather than on the open market.
Martin joined the company after graduating from Nottingham University School of Agriculture where he studied nutrition and biochemistry. It is also where he met his wife Pamela.

Please contact Martin:


Jim McCreight


Jim McCreight has grown potatoes for over 30 years supplying the processing industry and other contract growers. Since forming S J McCreight (Potatoes) Ltd in 1983 the emphasis has been on producing certified seed potatoes for the Irish, UK & export markets.
S J McCreight (Potatoes) Ltd exports seed and ware potatoes worldwide, trading in both protected and free varieties. Based in the heart of Co. Down, an area widely renowned for growing healthy seed and close to ports, the company has its own refrigerated box stores and grading station.
Jim is a director in Potato Partners NI (PPNI), a consortium of N.Ireland potato breeders and seed exporting merchants. The group is the commercial partner of AFBI (Agri-food and Biosciences Institute) for the world wide marketing for AFBI bred varieties. PPNI also represent New Zealand Plant and Food varieties in the EU.

Please contact Jim:


Gerard Croft

Gerard Croft

Gerard Croft (BPTA Past President 2010-2012) was instrumental in the merger of NASPM and SPTA to form BPTA in 2006. A Council member of NASPM since his co-option in 1998 during which time he sat on and latterly chaired the Seed Regulations Committee, a role that was continued for BPTA. He now chairs the Legal & Arbitration Committee.
He started in the Seed Potato business in 1982 working for Pattullo Higgs as a trainee sales person. Now a seed manager for Greenvale AP, who purchased Pattullo Higgs in 1997.
His significant Presidency achievements include the 2012 rewrite of BPTA Conditions for the Purchase & Sale of Seed Potatoes – which involved intense negotiations with NFU and NFU Mutual and the rewrite of our Arbitration Rules.
Gerard has 4 children and devotes much of his spare time to working with youngsters as an active member of the Scout movement.

Please contact Gerard:


Paul Wood


Paul Wood started in the potato trade working for MBM at Haxey in 2004, after being a farm manager for Sentry farming since he left University. In 2007 he left MBM and helped set up, along with several other MBM employees, Potato Innovations Ltd looking after the marketing of varieties owned by Meijer, TPC, Shaap and De Nijs from Holland.
In September 2015, Paul became Managing Director for Meijer Seed Potatoes Ltd.
He joined BPTA Council in 2011 and will be President in June, 2018.

Please contact Paul:


The Haigh Trophy

The Haigh Trophy The Haigh Trophy was gifted to the National Association of Seed Potato Merchants by C M Haigh who was President of NASPM 1947-48 with the intention that it be presented annually to that person who shall be adjudged to have rendered outstanding meritorious service to the seed potato trade in general and to the Association in particular.

 Previous winners of the Haigh Trophy:

1949       C W Higgs
1950       Martin A F Sutton
1952       Mrs N McDermott MBE, MSc
1953       A Manton Baxter
1954       John Clarke MBE, MAgr
1955       Redcliffe N Salaman MD, FRS
1957       John Bankhead
1958       Thomas P McIntosh OBE, BSc (Agr)
1959       John Marshall CBE
1961       E F Sherriff
1962       R W Wallace OBE
1965       C M Haigh
1968       A J Haggart
1969       M F Strickland
1972       J C Cullen MSc
1973       Sir James Denby Roberts Bt
1974       D H Smith OBE
1975       Dr H W Howard OBE, BA, PhD, ScD
1976       Dr T L Hardie BSc, (Agr) PhD, FRAgS
1977       Prof J M Hirst DSC, PhD, FRS
1980       G B Darby
1985       H N Aves OBE
1986       F T Trahair MBE
1988       R J Beeson
1989       F W Seymour
1990       C J Baker
1992       K F Burke
1993       T D Hall BSc (Agric) Hons
1994       Dr G A Hide BSc, MSc, PhD, DSc
1996       Jack Dunnett PhD, FRAcS
1999       T J Dixon
2001       P E Smith
2003       I Stirling
2004       Eric Allen
2005       Stuart Wale
2007       Hugh B Edmond MBE
2012       Archie Pullar
2014       Bob Doig
2016       John Marshall
2017       Mike Cosford



The Haigh Trophy engraving

BPTA Tuber Training Course 2014

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 0131 623 0183. Further details and an application form can be found in the links below.

BPTA Tuber Training Course 2014 membership letter – 021014

BPTA Tuber Training Course 2014 Provisional Course Programme 2014 (Tuber)

BPTA Tuber Training Course 2014 Application Form

SASA Headquarters

Dickeya absent from 2014 Scottish Growing Crop

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.

Dickeya 2014 GCI Report by SASA

SASA Headquarters

BPTA Secretary at Potato Europe

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.