In a press release issued by the French Federation of Seed Potato Growers (FN3PT), the organization says that the normal measures are in place to ensure efficient and high quality potato seed certification activities, despite the current COVID-19 situation, as well as an unusual incidence of of virus-transmitting aphids this season.
FN3PT says field inspectors are fully mobilized to carry out the inspection work in accordance with the agreement between FN3PT and GNIS/SOC, the official authority for certification and phytosanitary matters for seed potatoes in France.
FN3PT and its affiliated producer organizations (Bretagne Plants, Comité Nord and Comité Centre et Sud) stress the fact that all necessary official tests required to guarantee the sanitary quality of seed potatoes will be carried out in accordance with the European and French regulations in force, and as requested by the official authorities.
These tests will be carried out, as usual, on all lots in accredited and approved laboratories in addition to visual inspections in the field and in particular post-harvest tests for the detection of viruses (visual inspections and ELISA tests, where appropriate, qPCR tests). Laboratories have sufficient technical means to carry out these tests on French seed potatoes.
FN3PT and its affiliated producer organizations reaffirm the policy that all lots must be officially and sufficiently tested, including those introduced into French territory. It is a matter of ensuring the sanitary preservation of the environment and production operations of all sectors in the potato chain (seed, ware, processing potatoes). Vigilance must be taken with regard to introduced seed potatoes from outside, whose sanitary quality must comply with the regulations in order to avoid contamination of the territory.