Stakeholders invited to shape plant reproductive material regulation

Commission calls on stakeholders to propose alternatives to previously rejected plant reproductive material legislation.

Spencer: forming new proposals
Spencer: forming new proposals

The European Commission has hosted a meeting of the Advisory Group on the Food Chain & Animal & Plant Health to discuss plant reproductive material (PRM).

It concluded that stakeholders must propose alternatives to disastrous PRM legislation that would have meant more red tape and further costs for growers.

HTA horticulture head Raoul Curtis-Machin said: "We are now being asked to come up with what would be acceptable to the ornamentals industry, rather than giving our opinion on what's wrong with the proposals."

HTA consultant David Brown attended the meeting as a guest of the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH). Plants for Europe owner Graham Spencer represented international breeders' group CIOPORA.

Spencer said: "The commission is seeking representations from stakeholders for a new text for the PRM regulation to replace what was rejected by the European Parliament. They were clearly shaken by the scale of the vote against the proposal.

"The most interesting thing was that the commission are seeking clear and concrete proposals. This is a change from their previous approach and they were clear that they did not want to just hear what we do not like about the previous proposal.

"They seem to accept the need to provide the lightest level of regulation possible for the ornamentals industry. They are also clear that 'PRM for gardeners' should be removed from the scope of the regulation. The concept of a 'one-size-fits-all regulation but with exemptions' is now seen as undesirable/too problematic and they would like to move towards a system of 'parallel solutions' for different areas of agriculture.

"For example, they foresee that forestry PRM is best dealt with separately from other PRM. We are optimistic that if we can come up with a workable solution for ornamental PRM it may be accepted by the commission as a parallel solution."

But Spencer added: "Some areas remain problematic. The commission still seems attached to the concept of 'niche markets' for exemptions but fails to understand that such niches can rarely be defined in terms of geography alone."

Spencer and Brown said niche markets must be defined through the needs and wants of the customer, regardless of location.

The AIPH, HTA and CIOPORA have agreed to work together to coordinate their responses. Spencer said: "The NFU, AIPH and CIOPORA all clearly lobbied for the removal of ornamentals from the regulation and this will form the basis of our proposals."

Submissions must be made to the commission by 15 September. New text for the PRM regulation is unlikely to be published before 2015.

Meeting The agenda

- Plant reproductive material (PRM) proposal.

- Implementing measures on the fruit PRM directive.

- Nagoya Protocol implementation.

The meeting was chaired by DG SANCO deputy director general Ladislav Miko and by Dana Simion, who is responsible for plant health at DG SANCO.


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

Phygelius

Phygelius

Masses of colourful tubular flowers can give these plants a substantial presence in the border, says Miranda Kimberley.

Tomorrow's tractors

Tomorrow's tractors

These machines have advanced rapidly over recent years but what does the future hold? Sally Drury looks ahead.

Climbing roses

Climbing roses

Walls, trellises, pergolas and even trees can all be brightened up by these beautiful blooms, writes Miranda Kimberley.


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.

Editorial ... More analysis and insight from bumper HW issue

Editorial ... More analysis and insight from bumper HW issue

Welcome to this bumper 72-page July edition of Horticulture Week magazine, packed with exclusive analysis, insight and expert advice on the biggest issues impacting all sectors of the UK horticulture industry right now.


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