- 10 Oct 2019
Date received: 27 Sep 2019
Date responded: 8 Oct 2019
You asked for the origin and seed stock of crop 103306. Further to this, you asked for a breakdown of seed labels issued for crop 103306.
As the information you have requested is ‘environmental information’ for the purposes of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs), we are required to deal with your request under those Regulations. We are applying the exemption at section 39(2) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA), so that we do not also have to deal with your request under FOISA.
This exemption is subject to the ‘public interest test’. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption, because there is no public interest in dealing with the same request under two different regimes. This is essentially a technical point and has no material effect on the outcome of your request.
I enclose some of the information you requested: Crop 103306 was planted using seed produced by Alan Twatt (Potato Merchants) Ltd
While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some of the information you have requested because an exception under regulation 10(5)(e) (confidentiality of commercial or industrial information) of the EIRs applies to that information. The reasons why that exception applies are explained in the Annex to this letter.
Reasons for not providing information - Annex
An exception applies
An exception under regulation 10(5)(e) - Confidentiality of commercial or industrial information - of the EIRs applies to some of the information you have requested:
A Scottish public authority may refuse to make environmental information available to the extent that its disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice substantially the confidentiality of commercial or industrial information where such confidentiality is provided for by law to protect a legitimate economic interest:
In this instance the release of details of labels issued for crop number 103306 would be deemed to be a release of commercially sensitive information and may provide competitors with information that could have a detrimental effect on the business who marketed this crop.
This exception is subject to the ‘public interest test’. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exception. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exception. We recognise that there is some public interest in release because there may be a very limited interest in this information. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in maintaining the principles of fair trade.
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House