European Forestry Nursery Association

E.F.N.A - News


Report on the 62nd Meeting of EFNA at Hotel Ferrum, Kiruna 8th June 2019.

The President Jamie Dewhurst welcomed all the delegates and especially those participating for the first time. Finland was welcomed back - now represented by Mr. Timo Salminen. Sweden has a new delegate Mr. Oskar Skogström.

Charlotte Allaert has agreed to become the new Treasurer with the authority to approve all payments and produce the Treasurer’s report at the Annual General Meetings.

EFNA do seeks its influence by membership of and collaboration with other organisations working with matters of interest of the forestry and the forest nurseries. The President did thank on behalf of EFNA those who have attended meetings for us, Bent Leonhard for many! Hannes Gardermair who recently attended an OECD meeting in Vienna.

We have approached both Norway and Serbia to see if they would be interested in joining EFNA, Norway has shown interest and Serbia’s private sector says it is not ready yet.

An important issue is plant health. EFNA is now recognized as a stakeholder within the EU and has access to the Transparency Register. Here we are notified of all relevant EU proposals, and we can respond when relevant. The delegates were encouraged to contact the President or The Technical Secretary when they might be informed of matters EFNA should respond to, or other concerns on political issues.

The EU work on new plant health Regulation involves many advisory groups.  EFNA is member of the expert group on Plant Health Awareness Raising, which has two meetings a year. We have access to CIRCA-BC (http://circabc.europa.eu) a sharing communication platform for National Plant Protection Organisations and stakeholders operated by SANTE-Plant Health. We do submit comments and have participated in 2018 with a presentation together with ENA on the nurseries point of view on Xylella fasticiosa.

EFNA has also commented on the EPPO questionnaires on RNQP – pests. This is designed to regulate other pests besides the quarantine pests. EU (DG SANTE) andEPPO are searching for priority on host plants related to these specific pests and have come up with a proposal to be commented on.
This has also been discussed in ENA as well. We have argued that we should see it in a positive way. We want to protect our self of the risk of introduction of serious pests and diseases coming into EU. This means we must live with a little more administration to protect our nurseries and the environment.
We have also commented on the proposal for a certification Standard on a Voluntary System Preventing Pests (VPPS) which is a part of the quality management process in companies (producers and resellers).
Letter of interest:  EFNA has agreed to be a stakeholder in the development by AENOR of the education system designed to be used as a Training Programme for Plant Health Controls under the new EU Regulation

Forestry, plant material and climate change: These areas are important for EFNA. Other organisations like COPA and Cogeca, EUSTAFOR and OECD are also active in this area. The EU is engaged and is involved in the funding of the research project SUSTREE.

EFNA has a representation in the OECD Scheme for forest seeds and plants at the annual meeting and a technical working group meeting every year. This coming year SUSTREE will be discussed by both OECD and EU. In addition, Mr, Silvio Schuler (leader of SUSTREE) will also present the SUSTREE at the Standing Forestry Committee Meeting in Brussels on their second meeting in June 13-14th 2019 Here it will be presented to the policy makers. Miet Poppe will represent and give the EFNA statement at this meeting.

A proposal was presented for change of the EFNA Constitution with the aim of clarifying article 5 on possible delegates and participants at the Annual General Meeting. Everyone agreed which means the article 5 from now says:
The Chairman and / or Secretary of the national associations may attend the meeting of the Association. Where this occurs additional delegate charges will be payable unless they are representing missing delegates.

Round the table discussion followed on concerns raised by France, Belgium and Sweden on demands related to the new EU Plant Health Regulation. Especially the Plant Passport and the demand for information on country of origin was debated.

The delegate Bela Kaparti from Hungary presented results of the market survey he conducted three years ago. It was agreed that it would be a good idea if EFNA collected data concerning items such as size of the industry, trees produced, people employed etc. This data could then be used to when lobbying various groups (e.g. Minor use chemicals) and could be used to create some promotional material to support the industry.
Date and Place of the 63rd meeting of EFNA will be 13 – 14 June 2020 in Czech Republic.

Minutes of the 61st Meeting of EFNA at Hotel Dieu, Marseille 9th June 2018.

The President Lena Sammeli-Johannsson welcomed all the delegates and especially the new and younger members of EFNA: Charlotte Allaert (BE), Florian Faassen (NL), Hannes Gadermair (AU).

This years meeting was arranged by Mrs. Christine Robin from the French Forest Nurseries Association,  Syndicat National des Pépiniéristes Forestiers (SNPF). The President of SNPF, Mr. Gilles Bauchery, gave a presentation of french forestry and  forest nurseries.  He mentioned the need for getting people to understand the importance of growing forests to help control climate change. Most people think old forests store most carbon, but it is in fact the younger forests which absorb more. Nurseries are crucial in the whole cycle. In France, 20% of carbon emission needs to be offset by planting forests. Politics are supporting this but none of the subsidies are going to nurseries. This needs a revision in the EU land use Regulation.

In the reports of the President and the Technical Secretary they emphasised the importance to EFNA of being active in networking with similar organisations like European Nursery Association (ENA) and European State Forests Organisation (EUSTAFOR) and as a stakeholder in the EU and OECD matters. EFNA have commented on the EU Regulation on Invasive Alien Species and  made a presentation to the EU Commision on the views and expectations on the importance of plant health to forest nurseries.

As plant health  is a major threat for forest nurseries and the wider forest industry, EFNA had Plant Health and Biosecurity as a theme for the 61st Meeting. The Director- General of the European and Maditerranean Plant Protection Organization (EPPO), Mr. Martin G Ward, was invited to give a presentation.

Climate change is likely to influence the future choice of the right plants for the right places, scientific efforts to have a better understanding of conservation and sustainable utilization of forest tree diversity in climate change by the EU InterReg project SUSTREE is supported by EFNA as members of the Advisory Board.

At the Annual General Meeting last year the delegates formed a working group to have a look at  the Constitution of EFNA with the aim of opening membership to forest nursery associations from all European countries. This was agreed after detailed discussion between all delegates.

The President of EFNA over the past 3 years , Lena Sammeli-Johansson, expressed her gratitude to having chaired the organisation and called for a vote for the incoming President. Jamie Dewhurst (UK) was unanimously elected as President for the next 3 years. The Vice Presidency is held by Denmark (Torben Leisgaard), and the Delegates elected Germany (Bernd Schrader) as the next vice president.


Minutes of the 60th Meeting of EFNA at The Hotel in Brussels on 10th of June 2017.

The last year has been, like the year before, quit calm in the organisation. An important activity was the Breakfast Meeting the 2nd of May in the EU Parliament with selected MEP’s participating into the Committees of agriculture and environment. Participants were: Lena SJ., Marc VH., Bent L., Lucien V., Bart F., Bart vH. and MEPS’s Ivo Belet, Tom Vandenkendelaere, and Daniel Nancu, who represented Adina-Loana Valean. The report of this meeting was send out by Bent Leonhard and will be attached by the minutes of this meeting. We informed the Parliament a lot on the European forest nurseries and about EFNA and talked about important topics for the nurseries and EU. We wish more flexible granting’s regarding afforestation in the member states, because we are working in a very difficult business with fresh material, which demands stable conditions for investment and sales. These facts mean we regularly have overproduction. Climate change, land use change and forestry is a part of our sector. To meet the demands of more absorption of CO2 by the forestry there is a need for planting improved material delivered by the forest nurseries. Getting down CO2 is a contribution for our sector by a higher depot of CO2 in future forests. Every year there are 1.8 billion trees cultivated by the forest nurseries.

Marc Van Hulle emphasizes the need to have more contact with the MEP’s. They have a lot of power and potency to change things. In the past, we had more contact with the Commission but the political way by the EU Parliament is more useful. Anticipating more and more with MEP’s in every country should make results. In his opinion, it is important to give them OUR information and not just general information. This means a contact like the Breakfast Meeting should be organized yearly.
Marc did pose the question to the delegates: How many countries organize meeting moments like these? Only two had done this. All agreed on the need to have more contact with national MEP’s.

Bent concluded that EFNA should follow that route. Politicians are searching for a personal view and if we present useful political agendas on a ‘silver plate’ in our contact, we can get more connected with them. By this suggestion we can get more influence in every country. Networking is important.
Marc added the following remark: Last week the ENA-meeting in Brussels celebrated the 25th anniversary of the organisation. MEP Karl-Heinz Florenz was present and he said also that organisations need to take more contact with the MEP’s, best of all by writing these a LETTER presenting our problems in a short form (A4). Using this contact is recommended because they then often will respond.

The following subject is an example of an important subject to set pressure by MEP’s: Climate zones instead of national borders for the certification of plants. We have already been asking for this in a lot of years.

 Paul Alain wanted to know if trees and forests are seen as a sink of CO2 in the different countries? Or is it seen as the opposite?
Andy Gordon informed this understanding is growing big in the UK.
Lena thanked for the remarks, and concluded this is a topic to come back on the Agenda in following meetings.

59th Meeting of EFNA at Parkhotel Schönbrunn, Vienna, on 4 June 2016.

This year’s annual meeting was organised by the Austrian member Klaus Natlacen and his wife Marianne, who welcomed the participants to Vienna. The Meeting was opened with a presentation on Austrian forestry by Magdalena Leitner.
Rauno Kataja from Finland and Josef Cafourek from Czech Republic participated in the meeting as observers.
Mr. Andy Gordon retired after 23 years as Technical Secretary for EFNA and at this meeting was succeded by new Technical Secretary Mr. Bent Leonhard. The Chairman Mrs. Lena Sammeli-Johansson thanked Andy Gordon for his services over the years and complimented him on his excellent work. Harry Frew and Jamie Dewhurst then presented Andy Gordon with two gifts on behalf of EFNA.
Bart Faassen mentioned EFNA’s upcoming 60th meeting in 2017 and suggested the making of a small book about the 60 years of EFNA based on the archives. All members agreed this would be a good idea, and Andy Gordon was put in charge of it.
There is a significant drop in new forest planting in some member countries (in some cases up to 75%). It was decided this issue should be brought to the attention of Mr. Piotr Borkowski for onward reporting to the EU forestry authorities. Mr.Piotr Borkowski, is the Chief Executive of Eustafor, the association of State forests in the EU, with a forum called the Civil Dialogue Group.
A review on the possibilities for EFNA to support the work gaining approval of plant protection products in the different member states was given by Bent Leonhard. He also informed the members on the coming legislation in the EU on Invasive Alien Species.
The meeting took place near the Castle Schönbrunn and a guided tour to the gardens surrounding it followed the meeting. The following day the participants visited the Spanish Riding School.

58th Meeting of EFNA at Hotel Tivoli Oriente, Lisbon, on 6 June 2015

The meeting was organised by Joana Faria the Technical Secretary of ANEFA - Associação Nacional de Empresas Florestais, Agrícolas e do Ambiente  (www.anefa.pt) and took place in an hotel built especially for the World Fair in 200?    At the last minute the representative of the European Commission who had been invited to give members the latest position regarding the revision of the Plant Reproductive Material and Pest of Plants Regulations was unable to attend but useful discussions took place on both Regualtions.  The President of the Federacion Espanola de Viveristas Florestales de Restauracion Paisajistica y del Medio Natural attended the meeting as an Observer in the hope his organisation would now represent Spain in EFNA. An Assistant Technical Secretary, Bent Leonhard from Denmark was appointed with a view of him taking over completely from the current Secretary at the 59th Meeting in Vienna in June 2016. 

The EFNA dinner on the Friday night took place in the roof top restaurant with a magnificent view of the river Tagus and ANEFA hosted participants to a typical Portuguese dinner with Fado singing in the old city on the Saturday night.  On the Sunday a visit was made to a large private multi-disciplined estate to the south of the Tagus where members were fascinated to learn among other things about cork production on Quercus suber.


Notes on Meeting  held on 14th September 2015  of the EFNA Pesticide Working Group, Birmingham  by Andy Gordon (Technical Secretary). Please click here to read the full report.

Report from 2015 Annual Meeting of the OECD Forest Seed and Plant Scheme, 6-7 October, 2015 at the OECD Headquarter in Paris by Bent Leonhard Assistant (Technical Secretary). Please click here to read the full report.

57th Meeting of EFNA in the Scottish Parliament Buildings, Edinburgh 7th June 2014

The EFNA member located in Scotland was able to arrange for this Annual Meeting to be held in one of the meeting rooms of the Scottish Parliament Buildings, which were opened in 2004 when a Scottish Parliament was re-introduced after nearly 300 years.

The meeting room itself over-looked the dramatic Salisbury Crags and its full audio-visual facilities were used by John Spiers, Plants, Horticulture and Potatoes of the Scottish Government and John Morgan, head of Plant Health of the Forestry Commission, to make a joint presentation on the UK plant health service and the EU proposed Plant Health regime and Plant and Forest Reproductive Material Regulations. After a full discussion of these (for a summary refer to News Items) and reports of the past season and future prospects by each member country, members debated problems caused in nursery production by the ever decreasing number of plant protection products that they are able to use.

In the evening members were treated to a typical Scottish dinner in the Auld Toon by the Horticultural Trade Association and the Confederation of Forest Industries. On the Sunday after a visit to the Royal Yacht in Leith Harbour, discussions on forest nurseries continued in glorious warm weather at the Edinburgh Royal Botanical Gardens.

56th Meeting of EFNA in Schlosshotel Cecilienhof Potsdam 8th June 2013

The 2013 Annual Meeting was held in a very historic building in Potsdam, some 30 km south west of Berlin City Centre. The hotel was the location in July and August 1945 where the General Secretary Joseph Stalin for the Soviet Union, President Harry S. Truman for the USA, and Prime Minister Clement Attlee for the UK first debated and then signed what is commonly called the Potsdam Agreement.

No major agreements were signed in June 2013 but a very useful debate was held following a presentation on Power Point by Mr John van Ruiten Director of Naktuinbouw (The Dutch National Control Organisation) of the new Package on the Agri-Food Chain proposed by the European Commission, which surprisingly covers plant health and forest reproductive material. (See under News Items). This formed the main item on the agenda which as always included reports by each member country of the past season’s trading and prospects for the future. The 2012-2013 season turned out to be better than expected for most Northern European countries but, with the continuing recession and cuts-back in Government spending the prospects for the future were not so bright.

After the discussions were over it was very pleasant to visit the Sansoucis Palace and gardens once the summer palace of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia. In the evening members and their partners were hosted to a magnificent buffet by the VDF (Verband Deutscher Forstbaumschulen) in the Biosphäre Potsdam, an indoor tropical garden where over 20,000 species of plants and animals are maintained in tropical conditions all year round.

On the Sunday, as there were no nurseries in the vicinity to visit, members and partners spent the morning visiting the Reichstag, (the German Parliament Building) and the fascinating Glass dome, roof terrace and roof garden restaurant, where they partook of a final meal together before leaving for home.

55th Meeting and 50th Anniversary Meeting of EFNA Venlo, Netherlands 8-10 June 2012

To coincide with the latest "Floriade" - the World Horticulture Exhibition held every ten years in the Netherlands in which more than 100 exhibitors from all over the world will together pay tribute to horticulture, EFNA held its 55th Meeting and nearly-to-the-day celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the original European forest nursery organisation which is now known as the European Forest Nursery Association.

The main item in this year's Agenda was a presentation by Eric Poudelet, Director Safety in the Food Chain, from DG Sanco, European Commission. He explained the rationale which DG Sanco were following in the revision of all Seed and Plant Propagating Material Directives (eleven agricultural and one forestry)as well as the Plant Health and Control Directives. Many members expressed their concern at this approach but everyone will have to wait until July 2012 at the earliest to see the actual proposed legislation.

Eric Poudelet (middle row, centre, dark suit) with other participants of the Annual Meeting which was held in the Innovatorem building on the Floriade site.

After a lively question and answer session the members were left on their own to discuss EFNA's response. For fuller details of the proposed changes in FRM Directive please look at the separate section.

On the Saturday evening the 50th Anniversary Dinner took place in the Centre of Venlo and on the Sunday members were escorted round the Floriade by our hosts. The Villa flora is shown above and a general view of the Floriade with the dominant Innovatorem building below.

54th Meeting of EFNA Budapest, Hungary 10-12 June 2011

This was held in the beautiful city of Budapest in beautiful sunny weather. The meeting took place in the NH Hotel near the centre of the city and the evening meal hosted by the Hungarian Forest Nursery Association (ESZT) on a cruise boat on the Danube. On the Sunday a coach took members and their wives and companions to Kecskemét -70 km south of Budapest- to visit one of the larger forest nurseries operated by the State forest nursery company.

After the lengthy annual meeting, members relax with their wives in one of the many bars beside the Danube.