Following an emergency Xylella meeting held last week at the HTA, garden retailers have signed up to support a joint industry plant sourcing statement about Xylella fastidiosa.

The statement, which incorporates the existing HTA Ornamentals Management Committee statement, reads as follows:-

“As a minimum standard, the following businesses have taken the decision NOT to knowingly purchase any host plants originating from regions where the disease Xylella is known to exist. The decision has been taken after detailed consideration as to the potential catastrophic impact the introduction of the disease could have to the UK environment, coupled with the ever increasing number of host plant genera of this disease. This is in line with DEFRA’s good practice recommendations.”

The HTA is aware that this is a minimum standard and therefore individual businesses are encouraged to develop their own policy for managing the risks posed by Xylella fastidiosa.

The following retailers have signed up to the statement.  Orchard Park Garden Centre, St Peters Garden Centre, Henry Street Garden Centre, Aylett Nurseries Ltd, The Gardens Group, Klondyke Group, Scotsdales Garden Centres, Hillview Garden Centres, Notcutts Garden Centres, Haskins Garden Centres, Alton Garden Centre, Burleydam Garden Centre, Fresh @ Burcot, Fosseway Garden Centre, Squires Garden Centres, Hillier Garden Centres.

For the full list of businesses, including growers and retailers signed up to the statement, please see: https://hta.org.uk/plant-and-disease-alert-xylella-fastidiosa.html

Any businesses wishing to show their support for the statement should email policy@hta.org.uk in order for their name to be added to the list.

Commenting on this Raoul Curtis-Machin, HTA Director of Horticulture comments, “Retailers attending the meeting felt that a joined up industry statement for all sectors would be stronger. It became apparent that retailers felt inadequately informed about procedures to follow and the potential impact of Xylella fastidiosa throughout the supply chain. As a result a five point plan has been developed to inform about good practice with regard to plant health management.”

Xylella Five Point Plan

Under EU emergency measures there are additional plant passporting requirements for all professional operators sourcing Xylella host plants. This means that all those trading professionally in these plants must issue and retain passports where the plants are being supplied to another business entity, such as landscapers, designers and retailers. It also includes plants being imported direct to the final user.

All those involved in the commercial supply and receipt of host plants should:

  1. Check plant passports arriving with plants are correct and keep the plant passport to aid trace back if necessary. Label and keep records of the identity of all received batches of plants, including where the plants came from and when.
  2. Source from known suppliers or visit suppliers to view their processes, procedures, biosecurity arrangements and the plants they grow.
  3. Make sure that imported plants both originate from, and are sourced from, disease free areas. Details on infected areas are found at: http://ec.europa.eu/food/plant/plant_health_biosecurity/legislation/emergency_measures/index_en.htm.
  4. Maintain records of pesticide treatments and destroy old or unusable plants.
  5. Comply with the UK national requirements to notify the UK Plant Health Service about certain species of plants under the ‘EU Plant and Tree notification scheme’.

 

For trade guidance and information about Xylella priority hosts, follow the links from this page: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/protecting-plant-health-topical-issues#new-eu-emergency-measures-against-xylella-fastidiosa-a-bacterial-disease-of-plants

 

The authorities have also identified six High Risk plants: https://planthealthportal.defra.gov.uk/assets/uploads/Xylella-host-info-note-version3.pdf

For more information about plant passports and keeping updated with legislation: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/plant-health-controls

For more information about plant health: https://planthealthportal.defra.gov.uk/ or contact: planthealth.info@apha.gsi.gov.uk, 01904 40138.

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