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Share your views on the Safe Haven Scheme

18 December 2018

Seed growers are being asked to share their feedback on potential changes to the scope of the Safe Haven Standards, run by Red Tractor.

The standards promote best practice in key areas of seed production to protect the industry against incursions of bacterial ring rot or Dickeya.

The review will consider whether the current standards are fit for purpose, as well as identifying potential new areas to bring into the scheme. Seed growers will be able to share their views on the standards using an online questionnaire until 7 February.

Vicky Smith, Technical Manager for Red Tractor, explains: “At Red Tractor all our assurance schemes are reviewed regularly to ensure they offer the best possible protection for growers.

“With Brexit approaching and with it potential changes to our trading relationships this seemed the ideal time to consider the current remit of the Safe Haven scheme and whether we can strengthen it further, both in terms of the protection if offers from diseases, but also in enhancing the reputation of British seed.”

Changes to the scheme were first discussed with growers at the recent Seed Industry Event held in St Andrew’s where some felt that concentrating on core attributes of the current scheme was the priority whereas some could see a benefit in extending the range of pests and pathogens covered.

If the scheme’s remit was widened to cover other domestic diseases such as silver scurf or black dot, or even more exotic pests and diseases like epitrix or zebra chip, it could prove more attractive to potential trading partners.

Growers have until 1 March to feedback and thereafter Red Tractor will work with organisations such as AHDB and the James Hutton Institute on an updated version of the standards. That new scheme will then go out for an official industry consultation in the autumn of 2019.

Complete the survey here


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