Scott & Newman Celebrates 100 Years of Potatoes

Published online: Apr 08, 2019 Articles, Seed Potatoes
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This year marks 100 successful years in business of UK potato trading company Scott & Newman Limited. Scott & Newman joins a number of historic centenary businesses across the UK including The Royal Mail, Barclays, Twining’s and Cadbury. 

To celebrate this grand centurion, the company is hosting an invited guest list of farmers and others at Ludlow Racecourse, on May 12, 2019.

Established in 1919 by the partnership of Mr. Scott and Mr. Harry Newman, Scott & Newman started as a local potato trader in Shropshire. During the World War II, Scott & Newman was awarded the Ministry of Food Licence granting control of potatoes grown in Shropshire for national distribution. Trading branches were established at Limavady Ireland, Rutland, London and Bristol.

Scott & Newman’s chairman, Ray Owen, and his family acquired the business in 1973. The company then geographically expanded the trading offices, branching from Shropshire to Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, Pembrokeshire, Cornwall, Herefordshire, Norfolk and Scotland.

Owen introduced fixed prices for potatoes and pioneered the movement of trading potatoes in bulk. He further extended trading to the import and export of potatoes throughout Europe. In 1976 with the prevailing UK drought, Owen imported potatoes from India.

Scott & Newman continued to grow, providing a £1Million investment in production buildings at Weeping Cross in 1995 with an additional £2Million investment in washing and packing equipment.

In 2004, Owen won the World Potato Congress' Potato Industry Award in recognition of his contribution to the evolution of the potato industry.

In 2012 Scott & Newman relocated the company to Shrewsbury Business Park, where they continue to operate as one of the UK’s leading potato traders.

“I started in business in 1952 when I was 19 years old and with £100 of capital," says Owen. "Since then my life has been dedicated to the trading of potatoes which has involved long hours, hard work and an occasional sleepless night. Today at 85 years old I am still in the business. Over the years I have particularly enjoyed the support, help and friendship of farmers. There are no better people to work with.”