Plant Imports and visit to MPI's plant health lab

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GERMAC met mid-March with its members and a couple of dozen others well-informed on the day prior with an open day at MPI's Tamaki plant health and diagnostics laboratory (PHEL) and level three quarantine facility.  The work at PHEL is critical in the plant import pathway, both to keep NZ free of unwanted pests and diseases, but to ensure smooth operation of the pathway.  However, often the pathway is anything but "smooth", and the MPI germplasm imports team are there to help,, as are we;, 04 818 3511.

The main focus of the GERMAC meeting was to determine the Committee's objectives through the next year or two.  On the list so far are building the profile of the contribution plant imports make to the economy (the value proposition of new germplasm), how MPI can improve the way that it handles emerging risks that impact on Import Health Standards (IHS), the rationale review and policy development pertaining to IHS’s and other part of the import pathway, a refined approach to tissue culture import and the capacity of Level 3 quarantine facilities.

It was also pleasing to see an expanded MPI germplasm imports workplan, reflective of both increasing work load spurred by a growing awareness of emerging risks and a doubling of MPI's resources in this team last year.

Last year GERMAC discussed and identified the need for a PEQ operator to be part of the committee and Malcolm Woolmore attended the meeting, his first, in this role.  If you've plant import matters that we need to know about, speak with Malcolm or John Liddle,