Certification systems

History showed that certification systems for clean stock programs are developed after a major outbreak of a hard to control disease. Examples of these clean stock programs are evident throughout all crops. As an example, a major outbreak of the hard to control bacterial disease Clavibacter michiganensis michiganensis (Cmm for short) in tomato seeds led to the development of GSPP (Good Seed and Plant Practices). In the ornamental industry Petunia infected by Tobacco Mosaic Virus in Europe was big news in the mid ‘90’s of last century. And similarly in 2003 in Pelargonium, Ralstonia solanecearum race 3 biovar 2 had a significant outbreak in the US. Many more examples exist. All these incidences led to changes in the way the production system is operated. That could be related to extra testing, changes in ways of working and new requirements for the production facilities.

Moreover, currently chemical control options for pest & disease are significantly reduced. The focus shifts to bigger efforts to “start clean and stay clean”. The majority of “start clean, stay clean” concepts rely on the 7 basics principles of hygiene:

  • Avoid
  • Isolate
  • Sterilize
  • Wash
  • Disinfect
  • Control strategies
  • Accept & monitor

These principles are reflected in the requirements laid out in certification and should be represented in the chapter “Product quality control” in the quality management systems. 

Baseline for quality management systems proved to rely on ISO 9001:2015 methodology. Plant Quality Solutions prefers to work with processes and where needed with protocols. A starting deck of such flows and protocols are offered as example.