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Matthew Jones

BY MATTHEW JONES

@matt_fruitnet

South Korea reopens to Pacific Northwest potatoes

Deal secures access for table-stock potatoes from three US states, with industry hopeful more growing regions will be added to the list

South Korea reopens to Pacific Northwest potatoes

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The South Korean market has reopened to table-stock potato imports from the US states of Idaho, Oregon and Washington, according to PotatoPro.com.

Growers and exporters from the Pacific Northwest states will need to comply with a series of requirements agreed to by the US and South Korean governments, which will be released later this month.

John Toaspern of industry body Potatoes USA was confident the industry could win back market share in the Asian nation.

“We have received numerous requests for U.S. table-stock potatoes from importers in Korea and are excited to finally be able to ship to this market,” Toaspern explained.

South Korea revoked market access for US table-stock potatoes in July 2012, citing technical concerns.

Since then, the US potato industry has worked alongside the USDA's Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to address the issues raised. Attention has now turned to securing South Korean market access for other US production regions.

While table-stock potato shipments have been banned, South Korea has remained a viable chipping potato market for Pacific Northwest potato growers, with exports topping US$8m over recent years.

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