The team at Wyevale Nurseries in Herefordshire is celebrating after being awarded a Plant Healthy Certificate during Defra’s 2021 Plant Health Week (May 2021).
Wyevale Nurseries’ Production Manager Kyle Ross received the certification from the Plant Health Alliance and it’s just one of a handful of businesses in the country to currently have it.
Kyle explains: “We’re delighted to be one of several wholesale nurseries in this country to have been awarded this certification. It was also apt to have received our notification during Plant Health Week, which ran until May 16, it couldn’t have come at a better time for us.
“This certification scheme makes it so much easier to identify businesses or organisations that trade and grow plants with the highest standards of health and biosecurity. It also helps reduce the risk of introducing/spreading destructive plant pests via our trade plant supply chains and protects the horticulture industry, other cultivated plants and natural habitats.”
Certified businesses have to successfully complete and pass a Plant Healthy audit and show they are committed to adopting high voluntary plant health and biosecurity standards. The Wyevale Nurseries audit was conducted by Grown in Britain, the certification body for the scheme.
In February 2020, the Plant Healthy Certification Scheme was soft launched to horticultural businesses at the Plant Health Alliance Conference at Kew Botanic Gardens.
Throughout 2020 and until March 1, 2021 it went through a ‘pioneer’ phase and was assisted in its development by members of the horticultural industry, including Wyevale Nurseries, to help get it up and running.
Alistair Yeomans, Manager for the Plant Healthy Certification Scheme, says: “The level of professional commitment to plant biosecurity by these nurseries is both reassuring and impressive. Certification demonstrates that these businesses operate to high voluntary standards of plant biosecurity.
“The Standard aims to empower horticultural businesses to take a proactive approach to plant biosecurity. The Plant Health Alliance aims to promote the importance of protecting the health of our plant life from plant pests and diseases, as doing so will help safeguard the biodiversity of the British landscape and support the UK economy.”
To counter the threat from plant pests, Defra’s Plant Biosecurity Strategy for Great Britain (2014) proposed the development of the certification scheme to improve biosecurity in the UK horticultural sector.
The members of the Plant Health Alliance produced the Plant Health Management Standard, which is focused on UK ornamental and amenity horticultural businesses and organisations. It 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.
For further details about Wyevale Nurseries, which is based in Hereford, please call 01432 845 200 or visit www.wyevalenurseries.co.uk.