Exclusive FPC Member Updates

Sign up to become a member today! We provide year-round advice and support on all aspects of the fresh produce industry, along with exclusive networking forums, publications, field trips, group meetings, conferences and events.

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The standard import value calculated by the European Commission for import of fresh fruit and vegetables under the entry price regime will be set as follows next week due to the 1 June public holiday in Belgium.

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SIV for next week – Brussels Public Holiday

DG Agriculture’s organic unit will continue to work towards the formulation of the necessary implementing and delegated acts for the new Organic Regulation EU 2018/848. The first overview of the scheduled implemented and delegated acts indicates:

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Changes for Certificate of Inspection Organic, Group Certification, Controls of Organic

From 1 January 2021, the UK will apply a UK-specific tariff to imported goods.  This will include goods from third countries  and from the EU – where there is no trade agreement in place between the UK and that particular country. We have put together a quick summary of key aspects of the UK Global Tariff to help FPC members.

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UK publishes its future global tariff for imported goods

The European Commission has launched a public consultation regarding food irradiation. Directives 1999/2/EC (framework Directive) and 1999/3/EC (implementing Directive) set out the legal framework to improve the free movement of irradiated foodstuffs within the single market.

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Evaluation of the EU legal framework on food irradiation

The European Commission has notified the World Trade Organisation with a Draft Regulation regarding the non-renewal of approval of the active substance mancozeb.

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Active substance mancozeb - lowering of MRLs

The European Commission has published the 2019 annual report of the EU Food Fraud Network and the System for Administrative Assistance and Food Fraud (AAC-AA and AAC-FF).

 

The report highlights examples of EU coordinated cases as well as statistics on suspected cases food fraud through the Administrative Assistance and Cooperation System (the AAC-FF System).

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Food Fraud EU 2019 report

Remember that you can raise any issues with us and we will try to help.

Trade Credit Insurance guarantee
The government will temporarily guarantee business-to-business transactions currently supported by Trade Credit Insurance, ensuring the majority of insurance coverage will be maintained across the market.

Read more here.

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) – update 30

The Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) has contacted all agricultural labour sites in the south of England and Wales to provide farmers with ongoing support during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Advice on how to spot the signs of labour exploitation and where to report concerns has been issued ahead of the GLAA visiting farms directly over upcoming weeks to give further guidance to the industry.

Read more here.

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GLAA support for sites in South of England and Wales

Remember that you can raise any issues with us and we will try to help.

Workers should continue to work from home rather than their normal physical workplace, wherever possible. Where work can only be done in the workplace, then businesses in those permitted sectors can re-open, providing they can follow the latest guidance to protect their workforce and customers (see FPC update no. 28 for more details).

Read more here.

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) – update 29

South Africa has notified the World Trade Organisation of its introduction of the electronic certification (eCertification) system for the issuance of phytosanitary certificates and the use of electronic stamps and signatures.

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South Africa moves to electronic certification system

The applicant of the dossier of active substance Epoxiconazole withdrew the application for renewal of approval. As a consequence, the approval of the active substance has expired on 30 April 2020. The European Commission reminded the Member States to revoke all authorisations of PPPs containing this active substance without delay.

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Expiration of approval of epoxiconazole

The UK Government has published its set of guides to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic.

With many businesses operating more than one type of workplace, such as an office, factory and fleet of vehicles, you may need to use more than one of these guides.

The guides below include advice on wearing PPE and face coverings in different work environments. Here is just an extract - please refer to the relevant guides in full:

Read more here.

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) – update 28

France renews national measures on imports of cherries from countries where dimethoate is authorised.

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France renews national measures on imports of cherries

The European Commission has published a Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/625 amending Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/1793 on the temporary increase of official controls and emergency measures.

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Changes to levels of official controls for EU imports

The European Commission has published new audit reports.

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EU publishes latest reports

Cumulative risk assessment of pesticide residues - first reports published.

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Cumulative risk assessment of pesticide residues

FPC provides members with a regular summary spreadsheet of all notifications made by EU Member States, including information, border rejections and, on occasion, alerts.

The Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF)  provides food and feed control authorities with the means  to exchange information about measures taken in response to serious risks detected in relation to food or feed.

This exchange of information helps EU Member States to act more rapidly and in a coordinated manner in response to a health threat caused by food or feed. More in-depth analysis of RASFF performance is available in annual reports.

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EU RASFF notifications

The consultation Plastic Packaging Tax: Policy Design  was published on 11 March 2020. It was due to close on 20 May 2020. The government recognises that many sectors with an interest in this policy are affected by COVID-19.

 

To give stakeholders time to submit their views, the consultation closing date is now 20 August 2020.

At Budget 2020, the government announced key decisions it has taken for the design of the Plastic Packaging Tax in light of stakeholder responses to the previous consultation in 2019.

This document provides more information on these announced areas, as well as asking for views on areas of the tax design which have been further refined ahead of the tax commencing in April 2022.

FPC will be submitting a response to the consultation so if you would like to contribute any feedback please email: sian@freshproduce.org.uk

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Plastic Packaging Tax consultation extended

Remember that you can raise any issues with us and we will try to help.

National Cyber Security - sign-up for alerts on threats
As an Essential Service Provider, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) wants to help you mitigate any increased cyber threat at this critical time.

 

It understands that speed is key in a cyber incident and identifying victims through their IP space is one of the biggest obstacles to providing timely incident response and notifications.

Read more here.

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) – update 24

Testing for virus for essential workers

We advised members last week that the government announced that Covid-19 testing has been expanded to essential workers in England, and members of their households, who are showing symptoms of coronavirus.

 

Employers can register their workers through a digital employer portal. Employees are also able to self-register through a separate employee portal.

Read more here.

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) – update 23

Positive vote on EP's objection on maximum residue levels for cycloxydim, flonicamid, haloxyfop, mandestrobin, mepiquat, Metschnikowia fructicola strain NRRL Y-27328 and prohexadione.

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European Parliament votes in favour of objection on MRLs

Pest categorisation of Naupactus leucoloma

The European Food Safety Authority Panel (EFSA) Panel on Plant Health performed a pest categorisation of Naupactus leucoloma Boheman (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) for the EU territory.

 

N. leucoloma is a polyphagous pest reported to feed on 385 plant species; cultivated hosts include alfalfa, beans, brassicas, carrots, clover, onions, peas, potatoes and soft fruits. N. leucoloma is native to eastern South America.

 

During the first half of the 20th century, it spreads to Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the USA. In 2005, it was reported in the Azores where it occurs in the wild. In suitable conditions, N. leucoloma can develop from egg to adult in about 12 months with adults emerging during spring and summer.

Click here to read more.

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EFSA assesses pest categorisations

Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme

  • A UK government-backed loan scheme for large businesses affected by coronavirus has been expanded:

  • All viable businesses with turnover of more than £45m will be able to apply for UK Government-backed support;

  • Firms with turnover of more than £250 million can borrow up to £50 million from lenders;

This complements existing support including the Covid Corporate Financing Facility and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

Click here to find out more.

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) – update 21

A French member of the European Parliament has drafted a motion for a resolution on banning the sale of organic products cultivated in heated greenhouses outside their harvesting season.

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Organic products cultivated in heated greenhouses

Job Retention Scheme


Updated guidance has been published on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, further guidance on how to calculate a claim, and a simple, step-by-step guide on GOV.UK.

Read more here.

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) – update 20

Your views wanted on:  labour requirements; and supply chain issues in Coronavirus outbreak


The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee is seeking views on labour requirements in the food supply chain and also on food supply chain issues during the Coronavirus outbreaks.

Read more here.

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) – update 19

FPC provides members with a regular summary spreadsheet of all notifications made by EU Member States, including information, border rejections and, on occasion, alerts.

The Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF)  provides food and feed control authorities with the means  to exchange information about measures taken in response to serious risks detected in relation to food or feed.

This exchange of information helps EU Member States to act more rapidly and in a coordinated manner in response to a health threat caused by food or feed. More in-depth analysis of RASFF performance is available in annual reports.

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EU RASFF notifications

The UK Government continues to prepare for the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020 and has made the following announcements to update guidance.

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Brexit update - April 2020

The European Food Safety Authority has published the following peer reviews: pesticide risk assessment of the active substance beta‐cyfluthrin; initial risk assessment for the pesticide active substance sulfoxaflor; pesticide risk assessment of the active substance lavandulyl senecioate.

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EFSA reviews

Drivers’ hours – feedback needed asap to support further extension.

 

The Department for Transport authorised a temporary relaxation of the enforcement of both the EU and GB drivers’ hours rules for the whole haulage industry, which began on 23 March and is due to end on 21 April 2020.

Read more here.

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) – update 17

The European Commission has notified the World Trade Organisation with a draft Commission Implementing Regulation approving icaridin as an existing active substance for use in biocidal products of product-type 19 (Repellents and attractants). 

For more information see the notification: HERE and EU-TBT Website: HERE

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EU notifies WTO of approval for active icaridin for use as biocide

FPC provides members with a regular summary spreadsheet of all notifications made by EU Member States, including information, border rejections and, on occasion, alerts.

The Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF)  provides food and feed control authorities with the means  to exchange information about measures taken in response to serious risks detected in relation to food or feed.

This exchange of information helps EU Member States to act more rapidly and in a coordinated manner in response to a health threat caused by food or feed. More in-depth analysis of RASFF performance is available in annual reports.

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EU RASFF notifications

Protective clothing and essential workers.


Public Health England has updated guidance today on the use of face masks. This aims to clarify the advice given amidst recent media reporting about the effectiveness of using face masks. The gov.uk guidance for businesses has been updated and is available CLICK here.

Read more here.

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) – update 15

We are also providing you with the confirmation letter from the European Commission to EU Member States with regard to Certificates of Inspection for organic imports which we are aware has been circulating.

Click here to find out more.

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) – update 14

FPC provides a regular update for members of data provided to us from APHA (Animal and Plant Health Agency) on current incidents of UK plant health interceptions on fresh fruit, vegetables and cut flowers.

This data is collated into a FPC spreadsheet which allows you to look at both historic and current data, with information up to the end of March 2020.

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UK plant health interceptions

To mark the International Year of Plant Health, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has launched a website highlighting the work it is doing with its partners to combat plant pests and protect Europe’s cultivated and wild plants.

The website will be updated throughout the year with news and information on activities aimed at raising awareness about plant health in Europe and beyond.

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European Commission launches website on plant health awareness

FPC has produced FPC Guidance for wholesale and independent retail outlets supplying fresh fruit and vegetables – Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak to assist these businesses - CLICK HERE

 

FPC members are encouraged to share this  advice with their contacts in the wholesale and independent retail sector.
 

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Coronavirus - latest update

At this busy time, Government communications are increasing to ensure that stakeholders are aware of updated guidance. As a result, you may have received the information below from different sources.

Latest guidance from Public Health England can be found here.

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The latest news from the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs

FPC provides members with a regular summary spreadsheet of all notifications made by EU Member States, including information, border rejections and, on occasion, alerts.

The Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) provides food and feed control authorities with the means  to exchange information about measures taken in response to serious risks detected in relation to food or feed.

This exchange of information helps EU Member States to act more rapidly and in a coordinated manner in response to a health threat caused by food or feed. More in-depth analysis of RASFF performance is available in annual reports.

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EU RASFF notifications

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 543/2011 and origin labelling – interpretation of ‘ready to eat’ and ‘kitchen ready’ products

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Origin labelling – EU interpretation of ‘ready to eat’ and ‘kitchen ready’ products

Defra has advised that: Subject to bilateral agreement with the National Plant Protection Organisation concerned, it will accept digital copies in lieu of original phytosanitary certificates for consignments of regulated plants and plant products for a period of 3 months, subject to regular review.

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Plant Health – Phytosanitary Certificates

FPC has welcomed the UK Government’s recognition of the vital role of the food supply chain in the list of key workers.  The children of these workers can be supported at school while they continue to work to give UK consumers a continued supply of fresh fruit and vegetables. This is the result of concerted efforts by FPC (see our letter here).

You can find the information by clicking HERE – scroll down to find the relevant sections as well as guidance for employees.

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UK Government releases list of key workers

The European Commission has adopted a new Circular Economy Action. With measures across the entire life cycle of products, the new Action Plan aims to make the EU economy fit for a green future, strengthening competitiveness while protecting the environment and giving new rights to consumers. The new Plan focuses on the design and production for a circular economy, with the aim to ensure that the resources used are kept in the EU economy for as long as possible.

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EU Circular Economy Plan

The EU Commission has made available the summary report from the January Standing Committee Meeting on Plant Health.

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EU Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed

On Friday 13 March FPC wrote to the Secretary of State, Defra to highlight specific concerns relating to the wholesale and foodservice sectors. 

 

FPC members can log in for more details.  

 

If you have any concerns you would like us to raise with UK Government, please let us know.

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FPC urges Secretary of State to support wholesale and foodservice sectors

The UK Government issued a consultation on its proposals for a Most Favoured Nation Global Tariff which will be applied for UK imports from countries where the UK does not have a separate trade agreement in place on 1 January 2020. 

 

We issued a briefing to FPC members which included the list of trade agreements already in place and the proposed tariffs in the consultation. 

We received a number of comments from FPC members and we responded to the consultation on a number of points, as well as the individual tariff rates. FPC members can access the FPC response and spreadsheet for individual tariffs.

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FPC's response on UK Global Tariff consultation

FPC provides a regular update for members of data provided to us from APHA (Animal and Plant Health Agency) on current incidents of UK plant health interceptions on fresh fruit, vegetables and cut flowers.

This data is collated into a FPC spreadsheet which allows you to look at both historic and current data, with information up to May 2020.

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UK plant health interceptions

The European Commission has published a Commission Regulation (EU) 2020/685 amending Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006 as regards maximum levels of perchlorate in foods.

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Perchlorate– maximum levels in foods

The Ukrainian Authorities have notified the World Trade Organisation with a Draft Order of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine "On amendments to the State Hygiene Regulations and Norms "Regulation on the maximum levels for certain contaminants in food products".

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Ukraine - Regulation on the maximum levels for certain contaminants in food products

New travel restrictions announced

The UK Government has announced that it will put in place a 14-day quarantine measure for UK citizens and foreign visitors travelling into the UK.

Individuals travelling to the UK will need to provide UK Border Force officials with an address where they will self-isolate, otherwise accommodation will be arranged by the government.

Read more here.

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) - update 31

EU non-renewal of approval of AS benfluralin;  China - Maximum Levels of contaminants; Japan announces coming into force of Plant Protection Act as of 11 November 2020.

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WTO notifications

The European Commission requested the EFSA Panel on Plant Health to prepare and deliver risk assessments for commodities listed in Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/2019 as ‘High risk plants, plant products and other objects’.

Read more here.

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Risk assessment of Acer  spp. plants from New Zealand

On 12 May the World Trade Organisation received a communication from Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay and Peru requesting for the suspension of the processes and entry into force of reductions of the maximum residue levels for plant protection products in light of the COVID -19 pandemic.

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WTO members ask EU to suspend MRL reductions

FPC provides members with a regular summary spreadsheet of all notifications made by EU Member States, including information, border rejections and, on occasion, alerts.

The Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF)  provides food and feed control authorities with the means  to exchange information about measures taken in response to serious risks detected in relation to food or feed.

This exchange of information helps EU Member States to act more rapidly and in a coordinated manner in response to a health threat caused by food or feed. More in-depth analysis of RASFF performance is available in annual reports.

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EU RASFF notifications

Fruit – There have been five outbreaks of ToBRFV in commercial tomato production sites in England, one in 2019 and four in 2020.

Seed – ToBRFV has also been intercepted on imported tomato and pepper seed and on imported fruit destined for retail. Where the virus is confirmed, official action is being taken by the Plant Health and Seeds Inspectorate (PHSI) to contain and eradicate the virus.

More details on the Plant Health Portal and factsheet

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Tomato Brown Rugose Fruit virus update

On 5 May a DG AGRI expert group meeting on Organic Farming took place. At the meeting extraordinary measures with regard to COVID-19 under the current organic Regulation were discussed by the EU Member States. It was also discussed and agreed to proceed with the postponement of the Regulation (EU) 2018/848 on organic production and labelling of organic products which should enter into force on 1 January 2021.

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EC to postpone implementation of regulation on organic production

The European Commission has published its Europhyt report for the month of April 2020.

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EU plant health interceptions for April

Changes to EU status of active substances: benfluralin; metalaxyl-M; foramsulfuron; as well as formaldehyde as an existing active substance for use in biocidal products.

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Changes to EU status of active substances

Remember that you can raise any issues with us and we will try to help.

Returning to work – UK Government guidance on easing some restrictions

You will be aware that the UK Government is preparing to publish guidance for relaxing the lockdown and enabling some sectors of society to re-open.

 

As an essential industry the majority of businesses in the UK fresh produce sector have continued to operate by putting in place measures to protect workers and customers.

Read more here.

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) – update 26

The European Commission has launched a public consultation, announcing some minor changes with regard to Implementing Regulation 2015/2447, which defines detailed rules of the Union Customs Code.

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Consultation on revision of Union Customs Code

The IPPC ePhyto Steering group including USDA and the EU DG Santé TRACES unit has met to update on the current state of play of the project between government officials and the industry advisory group

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E-Phyto Steering Group - Electronic Certification

FPC members can access the minutes of the latest EU Standing Committee on Pesticides Residue, as well as have updates on BAC/DDAC and active substances propiconazole  and mancozeb.

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EU pesticide regulatory discussions

Remember that you can raise any issues with us and we will try to help.

Discretionary fund for small businesses including market traders


A discretionary fund has been set up to accommodate certain small businesses previously outside the scope of the business grant funds scheme.

This includes market traders. To find out more CLICK here.

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) – update 25

FPC provides a regular update for members of data provided to us from APHA (Animal and Plant Health Agency) on current incidents of UK plant health interceptions on fresh fruit, vegetables and cut flowers.

This data is collated into a FPC spreadsheet which allows you to look at both historic and current data, with information up to the end of April 2020.

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UK plant health interceptions

Thirty-seven new plant species have been identified as hosts of the Xylella fastidiosa pathogen.

 

Most were naturally (not artificially) infected and were found both in EU countries (France, Italy, Portugal and Spain) and non-EU countries (USA and Iran).

 

The new hosts include common ornamental, wild and commercial plants such as fleabane (Erigeron sp.), Helichrysum stoechas, pistachio (Pistacia vera), and persimmon (Diospyros kaki).

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New plant species identified as hosts of Xylella fastiodiosa pathogen

EU proposes new MRLs for lead and maximum level for cadmium

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EU proposes new MRLs for lead and maximum level for cadmium

The EU is taking new measures to reduce the risk of shortages of water for irrigating crops.

 

The European Council has adopted a regulation which will facilitate the use of treated urban waste water (reclaimed water) for agricultural irrigation.

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Water reuse for agricultural irrigation

This update covers information on testing for frontline workers; best practice guidance – seasonal workers; new food redistribution guidance and links to emergency surplus food grants.

Thank you to those of you who contributed feedback for our submission to the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee’s inquiry into labour in the supply chain.

Click here to read more.

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) – update 22

We have received information provided by CRD which confirms our previous update on timing for the proposed changes to EU chlorate MRLs.

 

FPC members can see the details here on the voted proposals. CRD is also asking for views on how the UK will apply the requirements of the footnote covering processed foods so please read the request for industry views by 22 May.

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Chlorate EU MRLs - update

The European Commission has notified the World Trade Organisation with the draft regulations regarding non-renewals of bromoxynil and mancozeb.

 

Members of the WTO can comment on the draft regulations within 60 days following publication of the notifications. 

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EU notifies WTO regarding non-renewals of bromoxynil & mancozeb

Defra has introduced legislation which implements new measures for Xylella covering more plant species.

The new legislation is summarised here and further details provided in an Annex.

Read more here.

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New UK measures to control Xylella cover more plant species

The Quarter 3 2019 report for the UK Pesticide Residues in Food Monitoring Programmes has been published.

This quarter’s programme surveyed 984 samples of 24 different foods, of which 65 samples contained residues above the legal Maximum Residue Level. 

Read more here.

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UK pesticide residues in food monitoring programme

According to Article 12 of Regulation (EC) No 396/2005, EFSA has reviewed the maximum residue levels (MRLs) currently established at European level for the pesticide active substance fluopyram.

Read more here.

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EFSA reviews existing maximum residue levels for fluopyram

Duty deferment account holders


Duty deferment account holders who are experiencing severe financial difficulty as a result of Covid-19 and who are unable to make payment of deferred customs duties and import VAT due on 15 April 2020 can contact HMRC for approval to enter into an extended period to make full or partial payment, without having their guarantee called upon or their deferment account suspended.

Read more here.

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) – update 18

Draft guidelines for the Single-use Plastic (SUP) Directive (EU) 2019/904 have been produced - feedback wanted asap.

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Draft guidelines on Single-Use Plastics (SUP) Directive Guidelines

The European Commission has launched a public consultation on CO2 emissions in shipping.

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Consultation on CO2 Emissions from shipping