“I haven’t experienced this many changes in 25 years. We’re swamped with paperwork”, says Richard McKenna, Managing Director at Provender Nurseries in Great Britain, in a conversation about the new requirements imposed by the United Kingdom from 4 March regarding the import of xylella host plants.
DEFRA, the British Ministry of Agriculture, announced mid-February they were going to make the requirements for the import of xylella host plants stricter from the 4th of March. A cause for concern, both in the UK and the Netherlands. The requirements include proof that the host plant has been cultivated in a country or region that’s free from xylella fastidiosa for at least three years. Or shorter, if the plant has a shorter cultivation period.
Xylella Awareness Week
The 4th of March was also the day on which growers and traders attended a workshop via Teams, in the context of Xylella Awareness Week.
“The changes are happening too fast”, said McKenna. “We’re going to miss out on turnover if companies on the continent can’t fulfil the requirements, and at the moment, that’s what it looks like. Prunus, for example, is an important product for us; we import around £150,000 (€175,000) worth of prunus each year and roughly the same amount of lavender. All in all, xylella host plants account for around 10% of our turnover.” (..)
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