Claire Hodge  -  Connectivity in seed potato supply chains

The MacRobert Trust

I grew up on a dairy farm in the Scottish Borders and have always been driven to find information and solutions to agricultural challenges. The agricultural industry has so much potential and I am constantly inspired by the ability of farmers, their persistence and commitment to survive change, this is why I enjoy working in the industry. My role as Knowledge Exchange Manager at AHDB has given me the opportunity to visit farms all over the UK seeing how the network of thrives, especially when information can be shared. I have also been fortunate enough to travel and meet growers across the world. My focus is mostly to promote the Scottish seed industry but I see so much great practice and integration I would really like to explore how we could make changes to reach the potential of UK agriculture. My most recent experience was to the World Potato Congress in Peru, where I learnt a huge amount especially exposure to counties where we don’t trade regularly with, predominantly African and south American counties. The barriers to trade tend to be in pricing and support is available through World Bank funding to develop varieties which are free to grow, however like in any potato supply chain access to good quality seed is difficult and information and knowledge of the quality of seed is limited.