Plant Healthy Certification Scheme
The scheme was 'soft launched' in February 2020. This will enable the administrative systems of the scheme to be checked.
A ‘pioneer group’ of horticultural businesses will be going through the certification process over the next six months. Feedback from these applicants will help improve the auditing process and scheme function.
Once the scheme is 'bedded in' and full funding has been secured, the intention is to promote the scheme publicly.
Aims of the Certification Scheme
- To make it easy to identify businesses or organisations that trade and grow plants to high plant health and biosecurity standard.
- Reduce the risk of introducing / spreading destructive plant pests via plant supply chains (trade).
- Protect the horticulture industry, other cultivated plants and natural habitats.
Technical Advisory Group - scheme improvement
A key aspect of a successful scheme is for it to evolve and improve to ensure it remains fit for purpose. Periodic reviews of the Plant Health Management Standard will be carried out by a Technical Management Group.
Background to the Certification Scheme
To counter the threat from plant pests, Defra’s Plant Biosecurity Strategy for Great Britain (2014) proposed the development of certification schemes to improve biosecurity in the UK horticultural sector.
The members of the Plant Health Alliance have produced the Plant Health Management Standard which is focused on UK ornamental and amenity horticultural businesses and organisations, yet can also be adopted by international businesses.
The Plant Health Management Standard - which sets out the requirements to be met by scheme registrants - was developed by specialists from industry, government and the third sector. The Plant Health Alliance are the Governing Body for the Plant Healthy Certification Scheme which is based on the Plant Health Management Standard.