AIPH will announce the results of the first global plant health programmes survey at the virtual Plant Health Conference 2021

The conference programme includes presentations from international horticultural experts. They will describe how and what the industry is doing to tackle the threats posed by notifiable pests and diseases.

AIPH Technical Advisor, Dr Audrey Timm, will talk about AIPH’s national plant health survey. The survey was initiated in early 2021 to identify what support the industry has from programmes that define and standardise plant health systems and what processes are in place that address biosecurity risks and constraints relating to plant health measures across live plant supply chains.

The survey results lead to a greater understanding of the opportunities and challenges in improving plant biosecurity, which is of value to the horticulture sector that relies on global supply chains, and to the authorities who implement and manage plant biosecurity systems. AIPH received forty reviews from our members and contacts around the world.

More than three quarters (77.5%) of those surveyed indicated a need for a voluntary international [inter-regional] plant health and biosecurity standard. Dr Timm will present the survey report at the Plant Health conference. She will detail this opinion and discuss the comparisons between plant health systems and practices throughout the global supply chain.

Alistair Yeomans, who worked with AIPH to prepare and analyse the survey, considers that “The horticultural trade will increasingly be relied upon to provide a range of social and environmental benefits to the world. It is reassuring that AIPH is exploring proactively how voluntary measures can be enhanced to reduce further the risk of plant pests being transported on live plants.” Mr Yeomans is part-time Manager of the UK’s ‘Plant Healthy’ Scheme Manager and is also a freelance consultant.

There will be presentations about plant health programmes in Italy, the Netherlands, and the UK, with the floriculture perspective from Union Fleurs in the main conference section. A panel Q&A session will follow to discuss how these programmes contribute to maintaining plant health in the ornamental horticulture and floriculture industries that rely on Europe as a market hub.

A second panel discussion will explore plants and flowers’ movement across regional and state borders, with a particular focus on intercontinental trade. The ornamental horticulture industry has extensive global supply chains to move products to market. Though it is often not considered that keeping our discerning customers supplied with innovative products requires propagating material of new varieties to move easily from plant breeders to producers. This means that plant health systems must address plant material movement into and out of countries. Having robust industry plant health integrity makes processing this bi-directional movement more manageable for the plant health authorities and increases confidence within the trade. Savings for the industry are in the efficiency of time and cost and managing risks to the local environment.

This conference is in association with FloraCulture International. The meeting will be of interest to growers, breeders, traders, retailers, associations, exhibitions, regulators, and anyone that cares about reducing plant health threats while maintaining a thriving horticultural trade.

The Plant Health Conference is recognised by the International Year of Plant Health (IYPH 2020), which is supported by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC).

Mr Ralf Lopian, Chair of the International Steering Committee for the IYPH 2020, will provide the conference keynote speech. His presentation KEEPING OUR WORLD GREEN – Raising the profile of plant health will address the justification on why we have an IYPH 2020; why plant health is vital to producers and traders; how the future could look; and how public/private partnerships in plant health are essential.

The ongoing impact of safety measures against coronavirus means that rather than a physical international conference, we shall be using the multi-faceted Hopin platform to host this online international event where delegates from around the world can meet in real-time.

AIPH is particularly grateful to conference Gold Sponsors Royal FloraHolland and also to Bronze Sponsors Visser Horti Systems and The MPS Group’s support. We thank our Event Partners, CIOPORA, European Nursery Stock Association, EPIC (European Photonics Industry Consortium), Florint, Fleuroselect, Naktuinbouw, Ornamental Plants & Flowers Mexico, and the World Horti Centre.

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