Plant Health: a glimpse behind the scenes

25 January, 2024

With less than three weeks to go, HTA members are encouraged to book their free place at an exclusive event held at Fera’s Plant Health laboratory in York on Wednesday, 14 February, for a day of peer-to-peer networking and updates on vital topics surrounding plant health. Key industry figures, including Defra’s Chief Plant Health Officer Nicola Spence, Fera CEO Andrew Swift and HTA CEO Fran Barnes, will lead this interactive event and introduce a host of experts from Defra, Fera and APHA.

Duncan Allen and Jake Morris from Defra will examine emerging pests and current high-risk threats, as well as work to engage the public to raise awareness and encourage positive behaviour change to support plant health. 

Kelvin Hughes and Dan Munro from APHA will share how Inspectors work to detect and manage these threats and how they support growers. 

Scientists from Fera, including Ines Vazquez Iglesias, Adrian Fox, Chris Malumphy, Danny Skelton, Adam Bryning and Steve Bryce, will talk about how they work to protect and support your trade.

Attendees will have a unique opportunity to join a tour of the laboratories and engage with scientists and fellow growers. 

Pippa Greenwood, HTA Horticultural Support Manager, commented: “This is a unique event that we’ve organised specifically for our grower members which has a very practical emphasis. It offers a real insight into the background and on-site work being done by Defra, Fera and APHA, and how that helps us all to increase biosecurity. I very much hope that our growers will take advantage of the opportunity to visit the laboratories and interact directly with all those giving talks throughout the day.”

Find out more about this event, see the programme and book your place at 


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