Confor joins signatories to Plant Health Accord

23 May 2022

A major new agreement between 29 organisations was announced today at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2022.

The Public Engagement in Plant Health Accord seeks to educate the public on responsible plant, seed and tree ownership, as well as raising awareness for pests, diseases and invasive species.

Lord Benyon, Minister for Biosecurity, said: "This Accord will change the face of plant biosecurity in this country, with leading organisations from across society setting out a long-term shared vision for public engagement, awareness raising and behavioural change.

"Safeguarding the health of our plants and trees will require people, the Government and partners to work together as we strive to deliver on our ambitious tree planting targets and leave the environment in a better state than we found it, as outlined in our 25 Year Environment Plan."

In signing the Accord, Confor has committed to work closely alongside leading nature charities, trade bodies and the UK Government to:

  • Help people to understand the origin of the plants, trees and seeds they buy, as well as the plant health practices and credentials of vendors/suppliers.
  • Reduce the risk of international travels bringing home plants, trees, fruit and seeds from overseas.
  • Communicate how everyone's actions can facilitate the movement of pests and diseases.
  • Ensure everyone knows how to report sightings of pests and diseases that are threatening the health of our plants and trees.

Climate change and the increasingly globalised plant trade continue to present immediate and emerging threats to our biosecurity from pests and diseases. If introduced to the UK, pests and pathogens can cause serious and lasting harm to our biodiversity, farmlands, ecosystems and native species.

Promoting positive behavioural change through public engagement is therefore necessary to safeguard the benefits trees and plants provide for society, the environment and the economy.