A pilot for the Plant Production Biosecurity Scheme (PPBS) has been underway in 20 nurseries around New Zealand since February and the benefits of the scheme are fast becoming apparent, says PPBS project lead John Liddle.
The PPBS is a systematic approach to biosecurity risk management. The scheme’s systems and supporting documentation, enables plant producers to identify, control, manage or avoid biosecurity hazards in their nursery and production processes.
“The resulting biosecurity outcomes protect not just plant producers but also their customers, the environment and the New Zealand economy as a whole,” says John.
For some of the nurseries involved in the pilot, the process towards getting certified has been relatively straight forward as they already had biosecurity systems, infrastructure and documentation in place. But for others the process has been a longer journey, requiring systems changes and new infrastructure.
“We recognise that the process will be easier for some nurseries than others and want to emphasise that gaining certification is not a race. We provide support and advice to nurseries as they go through the required steps. Feedback from those in the pilot is in turn helping us improve the process and experience for other nurseries.”