HTA Plant Health Conference

The HTA, in partnership with the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), has developed a one-day conference to face the issues of plant pests and diseases.

The HTA claims that the issue of plant health has ?never been higher? on the government agenda and that ?the stakes have never been higher for the industry?.

The conference aims to clarify the roles and responsibilities of everyone across plant health issues, bringing together nurseries, retailers, specifiers, landscapers, inspectors and regulators.

The opening address will be made by a senior government representative who will outline the government?s view on the importance of preventing and controlling pests and diseases that could damage the UK environment. Delegates will hear what growers and their customers need to do to fulfil their plant health responsibilities and mitigate risks.

Raoul Curtis-Machin, head of horticulture at the HTA, will chair the conference and speak from a trade association perspective. Edward Birchall, principal plant health and seeds inspector at APHA and John Elphinstone, bacteriology at Fera Science Ltd will both discuss what the implications of Xylella fastidiosa are for the UK nursery sector.

Richard McIntosh, Defra?s assistant chief plant health officer, will describe Defra?s approach to identifying and assessing the many and varied potential threats to UK plant health.

The final remarks and conference close will come from Professor Nicola Spence, UK chief plant health officer.

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