Adam Taylor steps into HTA role with Xylella the big issue

New HTA president Adam Taylor, who succeeded Adam Wigglesworth this month, says Xylella is the "key issue for retailers to be aware of" as he starts his term.

HTA president Adam Taylor
HTA president Adam Taylor

He said other issues he would face are Brexit, labour, and free movement of people and trade.

Taylors Bulbs director Taylor said what will happen with Brexit is "changing all the time". On Xylella, he believes the Government could now "dictate" to the industry what they have to do "rather than us come up with policy ideas". He said there had been a lot of kneejerk reaction to Xylella so the HTA made a statement because "we are responsible for telling people what to do".

The statement read: "We have taken the decision not to knowingly purchase any host plants originating from regions where the disease Xylella is known to exist. The decision has been taken after detailed consideration as to the potential catastrophic impact the introduction of the disease could have to the UK environment, coupled with the ever increasing number of host plant genera of this disease. This is in line with DEFRA’s good practice recommendations."

Taylor said the issue was changing all the time so could not comment on whether wholesale bans were an option. But he said there was an "opportunity to use our sea borders" to help with biosecurity post-EU.

Interviews for a part-time HTA chairman start this month with an appointment due within the next couple of months.

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