Trade body targets better image for horticulture sector

The Invasive Non-Native Specialists Association (INNSA) has been launched for companies involved in controlling and eradicating invasive non-native species such as Japanese knotweed.

It aims to drive up standards in the industry and "root out many of the cowboy companies that have begun to undermine large sections of this treatment market".

INNSA will "seek to restore the professional image of its industry by developing a membership that can demonstrate continued competence and best practice". It provides accreditation and an insurance-backed guarantee scheme.

New members will be required to be BASIS-qualified and accredited to ISO 9000 and ISO 14001, as well as subject to financial checks during annual audits.

The trade organisation will use the Environment Agency's code of practice and will aim to promote the interests of its members at all levels of the legislative and regulatory process.

The group's founder is Japanese Knotweed Solutions chief executive officer Mike Clough.

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