The certification of plant stocks is vitally important to fruit growers and is essential for the supply of healthy material. We are fortunate in England and Wales in having the benefit of the best certification system in Europe, The Plant Passport Health Propagation Scheme (PHPS) which is administered by FERA who run the scheme and carry out independent inspections of all entered stocks.
The Principles of Certification:
Certification is a genuine safeguard but it is not a guarantee
- That the site must meet rotational and isolation requirements.
- That the parent material is derived from virus indexed pedigree stocks and meets the scheme specifications
- No disease masking pesticides are allowed (especially relevant to Blackspot and Raspberry Root Rot)
- Every mother plant is inspected twice during the growing season by trained inspectors
- Any suspect plants are sent to the laboratory for further testing
- There are published tolerances for any non-quarantine pest and diseases which must not be exceeded
PHPS – Certified Stock
Virus Tested Pedigree Mother Plants are produced by the Nuclear Stock Association (NSA) at East Malling by testing for all important viruses, pests and diseases using a full range of PCR and graft based tests. This Virus Indexed material is then used by commercial propagator to produce Elite and A Certificate plants for sale.
PHPS – Approved Health
When a variety is first released and before pedigree material is available from the NSA we offer stocks that have been entered and inspected at the Approved Health Grade. This grade is part of the PHPS and uses the same criteria as the A Certificate Grade with regard to the health of the stocks but offers no safeguard with regards to trueness to type.
When the most stringent requirements of PHPS are not met Rubus and Strawberries are inspected once only by APHA against a much reduced set of criteria in order to meet the EU Plant Passport standard.
Integrated Pest Management
In response to the continued loss of active ingredients in pesticides due to EU legislation, R.W. Walpole Ltd have introduced the routine and intensive use of predatory insects to assist in the control of Two Spotted Mite, Aphid and Tarsonemid Mite.
For full details of the PHPS scheme visit: www.fera.defra.gov.uk/plants/plantHealth/phps.cfm
For full details of the EU Plant Passport scheme visit: www.fera.defra.gov.uk/plants/plantHealth/plantPassporting.cfm
Plant Health Inspectors inspecting a field of raspberry cane at one of our fields in Narborough.
Research and Development
In order to be able offer all our customers ever better varieties we need to invest and support non-proprietary breeding programmes. R W Walpole Ltd are actively involved in the East Malling Strawberry breeding Club, the UK Raspberry Breeding Consortium at JHI and the Hansabred Gmbh & Co Ltd European breeding initiative in Dresden. In addition our commitment to Meiosis Ltd offers us the opportunity to work with the leading breeding programmes from around the world.