Our production is carried out pursuant to the Italian genetic-sanitary certification norms.
The certification of the plant propagation material is an official control system, implemented by the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies (MIPAAF) that guarantees the provision of healthy plants to producers from a phytosanitary point of view that also possess the varietal genetic characteristics.
The Emilia-Romagna region had its own certification system as far back as 1984 and adopted the national system in 1996.
The production process for certified plants is officially checked by public and private institutions.
The Objectives of Genetic-Sanitary Certification are:
- production of material that is superior in terms of genetic and phytosanitary aspects;
- prevention of diseases leading to quarantine and protection of quality;
- improvement of the quality of fruit and vegetable production;
- traceability in the production chain.
The Certification Process takes place through the following stages:
- multiplication and
- the nursery.
The Phytosanitary Service undertakes the control of the certification process in all its phases through various field inspections and the verification of compliance of the documentation for material requested in certification (sales documents, tags-certificate).
In the Nursery the certification process is completed. The plants are ready for sale according to the requisites set forth in the regulations for the singles species:
- certified material category , virus free or virus controlled and
- guaranteed genetic correspondence.
Products for sale must always display a specific Tag-Certificate of a light blue colour that states
- “Certified Category”
- and specifies the health state “Virus Free” or “Virus Controlled”.
The Production of Certified Strawberry Plants
The production of certified strawberry plants is divided into 4 subsequent phases:
1) Preservation Centre for Pre-multiplication (CCP): this phase gives rise to material for the ‘pre-base’ category. Mother plants are grown in insect-protected screen houses located in areas free from strawberry cultivations in at least 100 m radius.
During the production process, all mother plants are subjected to two types of phytosanitary checks: visual and laboratory tests for viruses, fungi, phytoplasmas, bacteria and nematodes. In addition, all mother plants are subjected to visual checks for genetic correspondence.
2) Pre-multiplication Centre – first phase (CP1): this phase gives rise to plants of the ‘base’ category. In these Centres, either public or private, the cultivation of pre-base mother plants from CCP takes place in screen-houses. The plants must be grown in single containers. The phytosanitary visual checks are carried out on all mother plants. The lab tests are carried out for phytoplasmas and viruses on 2% of mother plants; for bacteria on a sample of a maximum of 5 plants; for fungi on 30% of mother plants.
3) Pre-multiplication Centre– second phase (CP2): this phase gives rise to plants of the ‘base’ category. In these public or private Centres the cultivation of ‘base’ mother plants (coming from CP1) is permitted in tunnel-screens and in the open field, in areas free from strawberry cultivation for 500 metres.
4) Multiplication Centre(nursery): this phase gives rise to plants of the ‘certified’ category. The cultivation of mother plants from CP2 takes place in the open field on terrains that must not have been used for the cultivation of strawberries for at least 4 years. These nurseries must be located in areas free from strawberry plantations for at least 250 m.