Growing Better: A Fresh Approach to Plant Certification
SANC reduces pest risk associated with nursery stock by identifying and dealing with pest hazards at all stages in the plant production system. SANC-certified facilities use production practices that reduce the risk of spreading plant pests through trade.
Certification of nursery stock for intrastate, interstate, and international shipping presents challenges and unique opportunities for both industry and for regulatory agencies.
The National Plant Board (NPB), an organization of state plant regulatory agencies, is working collaboratively with the green industry to develop a Systems Approach to Nursery/Greenhouse Stock Certification (SANC) to provide alternatives to existing certification requirements.
The SANC concept has been developed with participation of more than 20 state agencies and several industry and academic representatives.
The SANC program has been road tested with a pilot program involving 18 facilities in 14 states.
Facilities across the country have successfully completed the SANC certification process.
SANC-certified facilities are currently shipping plants. States with facilities certified through the SANC pilot program are authorized to certify additional interested facilities. Soon, SANC will be available to interested facilities and their participating State Certifying Authorities in states which were not part of the pilot program.
Challenges in Plant Certification
- High shipping volumes
- Increased opportunity to move regulated pests in trade
- Increased shipping requirements
- Dwindling resources.
Opportunities with SANC
- SANC is a voluntary state-administered certification program that can be used to augment or substitute for traditional plant certification programs.
- SANC is a flexible program that enables participation and certification by a variety of plant production facilities.
- SANC-certified facilities use an audit-based systems approach to facilitate and expedite shipping their plants by reducing pest risk and distribution.
- SANC-certified facilities identify the Critical Control Points that contribute to pest risk in their production system and implement Best Management Practices to reduce their risk.
Benefits of SANC
- Benefits for large and small or local growers can range from simply producing healthier plants to providing regulatory compliance for shipping plants out-of-state.
- SANC-certified facilities are interested in purchasing from other SANC-certified facilities.
- Grow healthier plants by effectively identifying and managing pest risk.
- Potentially reduce pest control costs due to improved pest management.
- Increase consistency of plant quality from certified facilities.
- Flexible approach, supporting a range of plant production systems, large, small, specialty, etc.
- Some facilities report cost-savings after implementing SANC.
- May result in reducing shipping inspection and certification costs.
- May result in improved customer satisfaction due to fewer returns of product.
- May confer a marketing edge.