This is a joint message from LTO Glaskracht Nederland, VGB, VBN/FloraHolland.
The horticulture sector wishes to work out an action plan with the government and Wageningen UR to enable the thrips-free export of flowers.
Last week, VGB, VBN/FloraHolland and LTO Glaskracht Nederland met with the Ministry of Economic Affairs, NVWA and KCB to discuss the situation regarding the phytosanitary problems with the Russian Federation. The meeting was also attended by two chrysanthemum growers and representatives of WUR. It was determined that, although there is currently not an import stop on Dutch flowers, the situation for the trade is currently uncertain, with a detrimental effect. Growers report that the price setting for chrysanthemums is currently exceptionally poor, and that the companies have their backs against the wall as regards thrips control.
Thrips control in the cultivation process is impossible with the current crop protection measures. It is therefore increasingly difficult to satisfy all demands of the customer (in terms of phytosanitary criteria as well as sustainability). Additional efforts for both the cultivation and the trade, as well as for research, are required to satisfy these demands.
The parties have therefore drawn up an Action Plan to find means to ensure a thrips-free export. This is a three-track plan incorporating pesticide policy, research into integrated control and post-harvest treatment.
- Admission policy for corrective pesticides and an accelerated admission of so-called biopesticides (Green Deal 2.0);
- Thrips Masterplan to establish a control strategy;
- Post-harvest treatments to enable pest-free exports.
For the Thrips Masterplan, a four-year research project has been launched this year that concentrates on better control strategies, organic control, and enhancing crop resilience.
Regarding post-harvest treatments, efforts will initially concentrate on Controlled Atmosphere Temperature Treatment (CATT): a treatment that appears effective for strawberry plants, among others. Research carried out on chrysanthemums so far suggests that this method has potential. The parties will seek to accelerate this research, including testing its application in practice. The results of this Action Plan should enable the Netherlands to meet the Russian phytosanitary demands in a sustainable and responsible manner.
The flower sector wishes to implement this Action Plan with urgency and energy, in partnership with the government and WUR.