2020-01-23

The European Plant Passport – a new challenge for the GREEN Industry

The European Plant Passport – a new challenge for the GREEN Industry
 
Author:
Managing Director Media Concept Schweiz AG

In recent weeks and months, hardly any other topic has affected production horticulture in Europe as much as the EU directive on the introduction of the plant passport on 1 January 2020. Media Concept Switzerland and Gregg Marketing, as specialised service providers for the green sector, are of course also familiar with this topic. Here is a small introduction - shortly before the official launch.

First of all, a basic definition of the plant passport: The plant passport has no meaning for the end user and is not intended to provide information. It is exclusively an information label on the transport route, e.g. from the plant producer to the trade. The plant passport is intended to enable the responsible plant protection services to trace the presence of a harmful organism. This enables immediate measures to be taken and further dissemination to be prevented.

Plant which are produced in large quantities have to carry a plant passport as well.
Plant which are produced in large quantities have to carry a plant passport as well.

Now the question arises how all this can and should be done in practice? In general, every plant producer who receives goods that require a pass and who hands them in must keep records of the trading units. For example, a garden centre must also keep records of the receipt of goods that require a pass. However, the plant pass is in no way to be understood as a label which "remains on the plant for life".

Every company who is registered and entitled to do so issues the plant passport itself. The pass must contain the following information:

  • A - type of plant - (mention of the botanical genus is usually sufficient / genus and species are only to be mentioned if there are special regulations on plant health for this genus.) General marketing terms such as herb mix may not be used)
  • B - Registration number of the exhibiting company
  • C - possibly up to the quarters or the greenhouse
  • D - country of origin
The plant passport must meet certain formal requirements, which are described in the handouts of the plant protection services. The following picture shows an example. It is important that the flag of the European Union is displayed and that the text is printed in English in addition to the national language.
As an official label, the plant pass can be printed on the pot or attached to the plant as a loop or patch label. Alternatively, the plant pass may also be affixed to a delivery note or invoice.

The components of the plant passport.
The components of the plant passport.
An example of how the plant pass can be designed - in this case as an imprint on the pot.
An example of how the plant pass can be designed - in this case as an imprint on the pot.

There is an exception for online mail order. The plants must be equipped with a label or the plant passport must be affixed to the outer packaging of the goods.

For mail-order companies, there are stricter regulations for plant passports than for retail.
For mail-order companies, there are stricter regulations for plant passports than for retail.

In many companies, the preparations for the introduction of the plant passport are still in full swing. We at Media Concept and Gregg Marketing are happy to support this process in your company. We are looking forward to your questions.

 

Author:
Robert Wacker
Managing Director Media Concept Schweiz AG
Robert Wacker has been working in the green industry since 1980. For 20 years, he has been developing marketing and sales concepts for breeders, producers and retailers. As Managing Director of Media Concept Schweiz AG, he regularly writes articles for this blog.