As I was watching the news over the weekend, there was a feature on Xyella. For those of you didn’t see it haven’t heard of Xyella fastidiosa, it is a bacterial pathogen that has caused decimation of some crops and for which there is no treatment. It was first reported in the EU in 2013.
Let me tell you firstly that if Xyella was found on a nursery in Ireland then that nursery would be closed with immediate effect, as you can imagine we take this extremely seriously as not only is this risking our business but also the severe ecological and economic impact that can be caused by outbreaks of this and other diseases upon our industry. Some of the plants we sell are on the at risk list but we are taking no chances with these, our nursery in Italy is also taking no chances. All Plants are checked on the nursery, all plants are inspected by department and independent experts on a very regular basis, they are then given passports only when they have a clean bill of health. When they reach our nursery we check them and again are checked by the department of agriculture in Ireland. Our Plant Passports for all at risk plants can be requested at any time.
We couldn’t be more assured that we are doing everything within our power to ensure that Xyella does not enter Ireland and believe me it is not in our interest to take any chances with these diseases and we are happy to say that since 2013 there have been cases in Ireland, UK and any of the areas from which we import plants. We will however keep assessing the risk of this and any such diseases and look at how we address such risks.