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Colorado receives approval to ship potatoes to Taiwan

The National Potato Council and the U.S. Potato Board announced that the Council of Agriculture in Taiwan has granted approval for the state of Colorado to ship fresh potatoes to that country starting April 1.

The NPC and USPB credited the U.S. Department of Agriculture, including both its Animal Plant Health Inspection Service and the Foreign Agricultural Service, for its efforts to obtain this approval. Colorado joins Oregon, Idaho, Washington, Montana, and Alaska as approved states to ship to Taiwan.

Taiwan is the fourth-largest market for U.S. fresh potatoes, with 2012 exports reaching 17,678 metric tons, valued at $8,916,613. The United States retains an over 90 percent market share for exports of fresh potatoes to Taiwan, which are made up of approximately 60 percent chipping potatoes and 40 percent table-stock potatoes. The level of exports is often affected by the size of the local potato crop, particularly for chipping potatoes, which are grown in Taiwan.

U.S. table-stock potatoes fit a different market segment than the local white potatoes and, thus, are less affected by local production.

The NPC and USPB, working with the Colorado Potato Administrative Committee, initiated the request for access for Colorado in 2003. In 2009, APHIS submitted the pest list for Colorado so Taiwan could conduct the required Pest Risk Assessment, which was completed in 2011. In October 2011, Taiwanese officials traveled to Colorado to complete the review process. Their travel was paid for in part by a USDA Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops grant obtained by the USPB. The matching portion of the grant was covered by the USPB and CPAC.

In December 2012, the Council of Agriculture in Taiwan informed APHIS the PRA was complete, and they were prepared to allow shipments of Colorado potatoes to Taiwan once administrative steps were completed. On March 18, Taiwan announced the opening of the Taiwanese market to Colorado potatoes beginning April 1.