Concessions omitted from EC plant report

The European Commission's new report on plant reproductive material (PRM) contains none of the concessions wanted by the UK Government and growers to help prevent a potential £35m cost to the industry.

Graham Spencer, Plants for Europe, says report is 'unhelpful'
Graham Spencer, Plants for Europe, says report is 'unhelpful'

A joint campaign by growers, industry bodies and the media had looked as though it had helped progress changes in European PRM legislation that in its original form would have brought new regulation to ornamental horticulture, drastically reducing the range of plants available in the trade.

All plants known by "common knowledge names" would, under the proposal, have required lengthy and costly contentious article 50 "officially recognised descriptions" (HW, 13 September).

Defra and the industry reached "a degree of unanimity" on a new HTA draft on the measures at a meeting on 22 October and Defra will now use it as a negotiating position with the EC to try and force through changes.

Plants for Europe owner Graham Spencer, Farplants director Martin Emmett, the RHS, NFU, Plant Heritage and others campaigned on the issue. But Spencer said EU rapporteur Sergio Silvestris's new report makes "no change" to the crucial wording "commonly known as" in article 50.

"This could still change," said Spencer. "Defra's position paper includes a solution to that problem but we need to see it adopted." The deadline for amendments was 4 December. Spencer added: "There will be more changes, but it is not going as well as Lord de Mauley is making out. It's not a done deal."

De Mauley told the All-Party Parliamentary Gardening & Horticulture Group annual reception last week that the EC is "relenting" on proposed "onerous" PRM rules following "concerted pressure from Defra".

Spencer said a new EU ComEnvi report is equally unhelpful. "Neither of them satisfy all our concerns. Neither addresses the article 50 problem (officially recognised description). The rapporteur addresses the problem of ornamental plants listed in annex 1, albeit only to move them to the scope of article 50. ComEnvi makes life much harder for conservation bodies."

For further details, see www.europarl.europa.eu.

Industry view

"I'm already onto Vicky Ford MEP, who sits on ComEnvi and had promised to help us on this issue. I've got a conference call lined up with her for next week. If the ComEnvi changes went through, it would actually make things worse. How Lord de Mauley can say the PRM issue is under control, I have no idea."

Graham Spencer, owner, Plants for Europe


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

An effective strategy to retain staff is the best way for any business to avoid a potential recruitment crisis, Neville Stein advises.

GroSouth 2017 update

GroSouth 2017 update

First-time and established exhibitors are preparing to showcase products and services at this year's show in West Sussex, Gavin McEwan reports.

Pest & Disease Factsheet - Vine weevil

Pest & Disease Factsheet - Vine weevil

Avoid costly damage by this serious plant pest.


Opinion... Pepper breeders' wealth of knowledge

Opinion... Pepper breeders' wealth of knowledge

Peter Seabrook looks forward to garden centre pepper-tasting weekends.

Opinion... Shining a light on trading with Europe

Opinion... Shining a light on trading with Europe

Accurate figures are notoriously difficult to get at, but without doubt the UK imports a great deal of its ornamental plant requirement.

Opinion... Unbeatable delight of quality plants

Opinion... Unbeatable delight of quality plants

Viewing top-quality plants, both growing and on sale, always gives me pleasure.


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Tim Edwards

Boningales Nursery chairman Tim Edwards on the business of ornamentals production
 

Read Tim Edwards

Ornamentals ranking

Top 30 Ornamentals Nurseries by Turnover 2017

Top 30 Ornamentals Nurseries by Turnover 2017

Tough retail pricing policies and Brexit opportunities drive the top 30 growth strategies.

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world
 

Read more Peter Seabrook articles