WASHINGTON, D.C./DENVER-The following joint statement is from the National Potato Council (NPC) and the United States Potato Board (USPB) on today's U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announcement of the launch of the State National Harmonization Program (SNHP) for U.S. seed potatoes:
"The announcement by APHIS of the implementation of the State National Harmonization Program (SNHP) culminates years of hard work by our state and national partners and provides a sound foundation upon which the industry can demonstrate the effectiveness of establishing harmonized national standards. The SNHP provides a format for the potato industry and state seed certification agencies to voluntarily adopt standards and management procedures for non-quarantine pests of concern, which would be universally applied to seed potatoes moving between the various states, between the U.S. and Canada, and shipped to other foreign trading partners.
"Not only does the SNHP for seed potatoes better position high-quality U.S. potatoes in the international marketplace, it places us on solid footing as we work to address other issues of industry concern, including the management and control of pests, like PVY. Adoption of an effective PVY management plan for seed potatoes and voluntary inclusion of that plan by the signatories to the SNHP will be an important next step in the evolution of this partnership between the potato industry and APHIS.
"The process of establishing the SNHP has been instrumental in gaining access for U.S. seed potatoes to a number of markets. With the SNHP in place, USDA and the industry should be able to finalize market access for U.S. seed potatoes to Egypt, the Dominican Republic and other potential export markets. Increased access for U.S. seed potatoes in foreign markets will help U.S. seed potato growers to diversify and strengthen their programs, thereby better serving the U.S. potato industry as well as expanding demand for U.S. potatoes."