National Governance Framework for Australian Seed Potato Certification: An Options Paper
This report presents options for a national governance framework for Australian seed potato certification. This project and a related project (PT15004: Seed Potato Certification Standard Review) arose from a previous review in 2014 (PT13010) that recommended, a) the development of a governance framework for seed potato certification as well as b) a review/update of the National Standard for Certification of Seed Potatoes. Although a National Standard exists, there is no national framework to guide seed potato certification. There are perceived/potential conflicts of interest and a lack of funding for communications. A national governance framework will provide independence and transparency, a framework within which certification can operate e.g. regular reviews of the National Standard, and allow funding for a governance group to operate e.g. publication of key documents. A consultation process included all certification agencies as well as tissue culture labs, industry bodies, regulators and other members of the supply chain (seed buyers/exports). In addition, an industry workshop combined with PT15004 was convened by Hort Innovation and conducted in Melbourne on June 2nd, 2016. A common theme from the consultation and workshop was the need to minimise costs and to have a funding source to enable a national body to operate. Other important aspects included the need for an Independent Chair, better communication e.g. publication of documents on-line, a dispute resolution function and maintaining biosecurity relationships. The general consensus was that the governance group should include representation from all key segments including certification agencies, seed growers, mini-tuber labs, potato growers (both fresh and processing), regulatory representatives and peak industry bodies. The Australian Seed Potato Council (ASPC) or some form of this was seen as a potential vehicle, with members elected by an open call.