Strawberry Runner Certification Schemes
The Victorian Strawberry Industry Certification Authority: The Story of Healthy Runners
Have you ever wondered what the Certification label on your box of strawberry runners really means? It is an important label that certifies you are receiving the healthiest runners possible. The Victorian Strawberry Industry Certification Authority Inc. (VSICA) is an independent body that inspects runners and ensures nursery growers produce them using the best protocols and practices available. VSICA only issues labels for runners if they meet rigorous standards of plant health. The Certification label also symbolises a long and successful history of delivery of healthy runners to fruit growers.
Australian Strawberry Propagators Accreditation Authority (ASPAA)
ASPAA commenced formally operating in 2016 as a Limited Liability Company with the aim of providing strawberry growers with disease free planting material of good agronomic quality.
Members of the company are Propagators and the Queensland Strawberry Growers Association ((QSGA). The company is currently run by a Board comprising two Propagators, two Members of the QSGA Executive and an independent Chair. Propagator members are guided by the Australian Strawberry Propagators Accreditation Scheme Document that lays down operational guidelines for the production of strawberry plants for distribution to fruit growers. These guidelines provide the basis for an annual audit of each Propagator at the start of the Queensland planting season that ensures maintenance of the original accreditation and provides certification of plants for the coming season.
An accreditation certificate is issued after the initial audit and a certification certificate is issued annually following a successful audit. The audit may reveal issues that need fixing and this is subject to a Corrective Action Report (CAR) that gives the propagator time to fix the problem. If a major issue cannot be fixed then a portion of or all plants produced may not be certified for that season. A fruit grower client must be informed of this and agree to accept the plants that are out of standard.
The major change for ASPAA in 2019 has been the increasing interest in Plug Plant production that required a rewrite of the Accreditation Scheme document plus an update of the company constitution. A greater than usual number of enquiries have been received regarding becoming a member of ASPAA and achieving accreditation. ASPAA also has taken responsibility for organising minor use permits for pesticides (particularly fungicides) with the Australian Pesticide and Veterinary Medicine Authority (APVMA) assisted by Hort Innovation.
For further information contact ASPAA Board Chair Prof. John Chapman | 0408 986 751 | firstname.lastname@example.org