Season’s greetings

We would like to wish all our customers and friends, old and new, a merry Christmas and peaceful and prosperous New Year.

The PFE office will be closed from 19 December 2006 to 4 January 2007. However, email and telephone messages will be checked frequently during that period and urgent matters attended to. In addition, all licensees should watch their postbag for their next Declaration of Sales form for the period 1 July to 31 December 2006.

EU enlargement and PVRs

From 1st January, the European Union will expand to include Bulgaria and Romania. With effect from that date, EU Plant Variety Rights will cover those two nations in addition to the existing 25 member nations.

The CPVO has prepared a FAQ that covers most of the questions the applicants for and holders of EU PVR might have in relation to this issue. The FAQ can be found by clicking here.


DEFRA appears to be issuing a whole bunch of new pest information sheets at the moment, some of which are very relevant to anyone who moves plants internationally, including breeders sending test plants to Plants For Europe for onward distribution to growers.

The latest information sheet covers Spodoptera moths – the big caterpillar illustrated in the document should be enough to scare most growers!

UK PVR consultation

DEFRA is conducting a consultation aimed at improving regulation in the UK. Included in the scope of the consultation are UK Plant Variety Rights, although it seems that most UK PVR holders have not been included in the list of parties to be consulted.

Details of the consultation can be found here, along with an invitation to submit comments.

Thrips palmi

Thrips palmi is a pest that can be present on a wide range of plants. It is a notifiable pest in the UK and, as such, its presence on any imported material can mean that that material is destroyed at the point of entry. Therefore, it is important that breeders sending test material of new plants to PFE for onward distribution ensure that their nursery and plants are free of this pest.

DEFRA has produced an information leaflet that aims to assist in identification and control of this pest. You can download the leaflet in PDF format by clicking here.