In July, WWIF was awarded $75,000 to work with industry stakeholder groups and State Departments of Agriculture in the Pacific Northwest to compare grape pest quarantines and certification programs to “harmonize” the processes. The goal of the harmonization is to make sales and movement between states more user-friendly while still protecting the integrity of the grape and wine industries, in each state, from pests.
This regional approach to harmonize will be used as a model in other parts of the US and will coincide with similar efforts in California, New York and Texas. The project will use the draft regulatory standard for certification developed by the National Clean Plant Network as a potential model for regional standards.
The industry members involved in the process are part of an existing regional clean plant stakeholder advisory group. Called the “Foundation Block Advisory Group”, the group has representation from the Northwest universities, regulatory agencies, all three grape crops, processors and nurseries with management from the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers. The group is utilized throughout the process for advice and to sound out deliverables and feasibility of programs.
The funds were awarded through a cooperative agreement with USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.