AW-ACTUA Introduction of Plant Label Label, a great deal has already changed in the consumption potato export sector. Since last year, the Plant Protection Service has already been carrying out inspections at the export company’s premises instead of at the ports. The NAO tie-rip system was also introduced. This means that each pallet with consumption potatoes will be coded with a striking blue zip-tie. This unique coding enables the Plant Protection Service to find the origin of the lot very quickly in the event of any problems. Immenga knows that problems have occurred this season with exports to third countries. He is confident about this move towards The Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV), the trade and industry sector, and the Inspection Services have reached agreement about a ‘Plant Label’ [Plantkeur]. This means that for exporting potatoes to third countries, it is no longer the Plant Protection Service (PD) inspector who visits the businesses, but the inspector of the Dutch General Inspection Service for Agricultural Seed and Seed Potatoes (NAK) who will carry out the inspection on plant diseases in the coming season. The Minister for Agriculture, Nature Management and Fisheries will remain responsible for the inspections. With the introduction of the Plant Label, the complex structure of the inspection system in respect of potato exports to third countries will have been simplified. At the same time, the transfer of inspection tasks will create a clear new structure, and the effectiveness and efficiency of inspections will be increased. Export rules within Europe have not changed. More efficiency The introduction of the Plant Label applies to both seed and consumption potato exports. Dirk Jan Immenga, secretary of the Nederlandse Aardappel Organisatie (NAO) (Dutch Potato Organisation), who has been closely involved in the development of Plant Label on behalf of the sector, explains that where seed potatoes are concerned, the NAK inspector will carry out the lot inspections as well as the phytosanitary inspections. The secretary emphasised that by combining the inspections, the inspector will be able to work more efficiently. “If you look at it in a rational way, the total costs of the inspection of will go down thanks to Plant Label”, at least that is what he predicts. Self-certification In anticipation of the Plant Potatoworld 2006 11 a Plant Label, whereby the NAK inspector will also check such potatoes. “The ultimate aim of the consumption potato export to third countries is that export companies can themselves be certified and will carry out the phytosanitary inspections with the guarantee of the PD and the NAK. The companies will also be able to arrange the necessary documents quickly via the internet”, outlines Immenga. As a result of the introduction of Plant Label, the total costs of the export inspections for third countries will drop, predicts Dirk Jan Immenga of the NAO. ● Pagina 10

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