Cuttings: Plant passports

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COMMERCIAL growers in this country still have no idea what costs they will be letting themselves in for when legislation concerning the so-called 'plant passports' finally falls into place. This was supposed to happen on 1 January this year, but has now been postponed until June. The passports are phytosanitary certificates, declaring the plants free from certain specified, quarantine diseases.

Plants in transit from one country to another have up till now been subject to border checks. Without borders, checks on plant health must now be made at the place where the plants are produced. Plant passports can only be issued by accredited growers under official supervision. And who pays the supervisors? Us of course. Expect more expensive plants in future.