Minister set to announce Plant Health Task Force report

Defra secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs Owen Paterson is set to announce a stricter plant health policy at 2013 RHS Chelsea Flower Show on 20 May.

Paterson will speak at the show to reveal the Government's long-awaited response to the Chalara ash dieback outbreak last year. The Plant Health Task Force report is likely to be published.

The report is likely to focus on tree health, and may see a plant health officer being appointed to fulfil a similar role to the chief veterinary officer at Defra, with access to ministers.

The report may also include details of restrictions on passengers bringing in plants in their baggage into the EU.

Paterson said he is attracted by the stringent Australian and New Zealand plant health regime after he was forced to take his boots off for them to be cleaned on a recent visit Down Under.

Speaking at a Defra reception recently, he said: "The regime in Australia and New Zealand has a different attitude. There are lessons to be learnt in protecting the UK from plant disease."

He said he was made to take his boots off for them to be disinfected by customs officers in case they had plant pests or diseases stuck to them. He said the boots were dirty because he had been to Aintree racecourse for the Grand National.

He added that a priority was encouraging the growing of more British food, saying that 22 per cent more could be produced here but is imported.

Paterson said growing more food and improving the environment "are not mutually exclusive".

Last month, Paterson was on a fact-finding mission, looking at animal and plant transmitted diseases in Australia and New Zealand.


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Read These Next

How are employers in horticulture developing their offer to staff?

How are employers in horticulture developing their offer to staff?

Thanks to a skills shortage in horticulture, employers are working hard to enhance their offer to new recruits -- from training to profit-share schemes. Rachel Anderson reports on developments at six firms in very different branches of the industry.

Business Planning - Be prepared for living wage rise

Business Planning - Be prepared for living wage rise

Battery blowers Reviewed: will battery blowers go the distance?

Battery blowers Reviewed: will battery blowers go the distance?

Fed up of having to start and restart blowers? Then there is the refuelling, mixing the two-stroke and carrying a spare can. Once running, emissions can be unpleasant and noise from a petrol engine demands earmuffs be worn. An alternative is battery power.


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

HW Top UK Arboriculture Businesses

See our exclusive RANKING of arboriculture businesses by annual turnover. 

BUSINESS LEADs

Build your business with the latest public sector tenders covering landscape, arboriculture, grounds care, production and kit supplies. To receive the latest tenders weekly to your inbox sign up for our Tenders Tracker bulletin here.

HORTICULTURE WEEK Custodian Awards

Find out more about the outstanding parks, gardens and arboricultural projects and teams that became our Custodian Award 2018 winners.

Jeremy Barrell On...

Jeremy Barrell

Tree consultant Jeremy Barrell reflects on the big issues in arboriculture.

Products & Kit Resources