Plant health threats are to be tackled increasingly on a shared responsibility, cost share basis, according to a study published by DEFRA and the horticultural and agricultural industries.
The jointly funded research looks at future plant pest and disease threats and goes on to add that the number of new diseases is set to increase with climate change, increased trade and travel and the evolution of new diseases.
DEFRA minister Jeff Rooker commented that the study set out a range of issues to be addressed in policy decision making processes, and built on existing government and industry co-operation.
“The need to deal effectively with threats to horticulture, agriculture and the wider environment from plant pests and diseases is an ongoing challenge.
“This study recognises the good work and co-operation that already exists between government and the industry, but underlines the need for increased partnership working to address these threats.”
“We welcome the call for greater cooperation between government and industry on this issue”
NFU vice president, Paul Temple welcomed the responsibility sharing approach outlined in the study: “This report is hugely important for the industry and a positive step forward.
“The prospects of UK growers being affected by plant health outbreaks is becoming more of a question of ‘when’ not ‘if’, so it’s vitally important the industry and government work together to tackle these issues.”
“The report makes it clear there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution because of the diversity of the industry and threats it faces.
“We welcome the call for greater cooperation between government and industry on this issue and look forward to developing relationships to allow genuine sharing of future quarantine plant health solutions,” added Mr Temple.