Plant Health: a glimpse behind the scenes

Exclusive trade event held at Fera’s Plant Health laboratory in York on plant health on the 14th of February 2024.


Lead by key industry figures, including Defra’s Chief Plant Health Officer Nicola Spence, Fera CEO Andrew Swift and HTA CEO Fran Barnes along with a host of experts from Defra, Fera and APHA, this event provides real insights into biosecurity and plant health.

On the agenda: the emerging threats and current high-risk pests; how Plant Health & Seeds Inspectors work to detect and manage these threats; the latest social research on consumer awareness of plant health and biosecurity; and how scientists at Fera work to protect and support the trade.

Speakers include:

  • Duncan Allen and Jake Morris from Defra will examine emerging pests and current high-risk threats, as well as work to engage the public to raise awareness and encourage positive behaviour change to support plant health.
  • Kelvin Hughes and Dan Munro from APHA will share how Inspectors work to detect and manage these threats and how they support growers.
  • Scientists from Fera, including Ines Vazquez Iglesias, Adrian Fox, Chris Malumphy, Danny Skelton, Adam Bryning and Steve Bryce, will talk about how they work to protect and support your trade.

Attendees will have a unique opportunity to join a tour of the laboratories and engage with scientists and fellow growers.

According to Pippa Greenwood, HTA Horticultural Support Manager: “This is a unique event that we’ve organised specifically for our grower members which has a very practical emphasis. It offers a real insight into the background and on-site work being done by Defra, Fera and APHA, and how that helps us all to increase biosecurity. I very much hope that our growers will take advantage of the opportunity to visit the laboratories and interact directly with all those giving talks throughout the day.”

For the full itinerary and event registration, we refer you to the HTA website.