Mar 29, 2013
Taiwan OKs Colorado potatoes

The Council of Agriculture in Taiwan has granted approval for the state of Colorado to ship fresh potatoes to Taiwan beginning April 1. Colorado joins Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington as approved states to ship to Taiwan.

Taiwan is the fourth largest market for U.S. fresh potatoes, with exports of 17,678 metric tons, valued at $8.9 million, in 2012. The U.S. retains more than a 90 percent share for exports of fresh potatoes to Taiwan. Of that total, 60 percent are chipping potatoes and 40 percent are fresh potatoes.

The process for Colorado access approval began in 2003.

Jim Erhlich, executive director for the Colorado Potato Administrative Committee, credited National Potato Council, U.S. Potato Board, the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the contractor consultant company Bryant Christie in successfully getting approval by Taiwan for Colorado potatoes.

You just have to be persistent because often the barriers aren’t apparent right away,” Ehrlich said. “It’s like an onion, you have to peel the layers back.”

Ehrlich said that this represents a victory not just for Colorado potato growers but also for the entire industry.

“Anytime that we can get another export market open, I think that’s good for everyone. It just gives us more channels,” Ehrlich said.

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