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New Pilot Cert Program for Plant Cuttings Set to Launch this October

Wednesday, June 21, 2017   (0 Comments)
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Offshore-produced plant cuttings of diverse varieties of annuals and perennials have become an important component of the greenhouse and nursery industry supply chain. Over one billion unrooted cuttings are imported each year from farms primarily in Latin America and Africa. They are rooted and finished in growing operations across the country.

New Pilot Cert Program for Plant Cuttings Set to Launch this OctoberUnrooted cuttings are highly perishable and need to move rapidly and efficiently from harvest to the next phase of production or risk quality loss or failure. Most concerning are delays or cold-chain interruptions that can happen during the port of arrival inspection and clearance processes overseen by Customs and Border Protection and USDA-APHIS.

For over a year, AmericanHort and the Society of American Florists have participated in a technical working group with USDA-APHIS and four major cutting suppliers (Ball Horticultural Company, Dümmen Orange, Proven Winners, and Syngenta Flowers). The resulting certification framework establishes standards that must be consistently met or exceeded by offshore operations. The standards encompass facility infrastructure, production and sanitation, pest and pathogen management, and traceability.

The pilot will encompass places of production in six Latin American countries. If the pilot is successful, it could pave the way to a faster clearance process at the ports, helping to ensure that high-vitality cuttings reach U.S. growers sooner. If successful, the program would be opened to additional producers and countries where cuttings are produced for export.

We’ll be discussing this promising new initiative at Cultivate ’17, including during Monday morning’s “State of the Industry” session. Hope to see you in a few weeks in Columbus!

Brought to you by Lighthouse, an AmericanHort Program. Article by Craig Regelbrugge.

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