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Gathering the economic evidence for the bee health, plant health, varieties and seeds sectors and interventions - PH0442

Description
Plant Health, Bee Health and Plant Varieties and Seeds programmes contribute to delivering Defra policy to:
1. Support British farming and encourage sustainable food production
2. Enhance the environment and biodiversity to improve quality of life
3. Support a strong and sustainable green economy, resilient to climate change.
Plant Health, Bee Health and Plant Varieties and Seeds policy resides within Fera’s Policy Programme and their activities are defined in an annual Business Plan. The Policy Programme undertakes development of policy, and oversees its implementation in these specific areas where the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has delegated this responsibility to Fera.
In all three areas there are EU regimes which determine a large part of Fera’s activity, including activity directed at gathering evidence, which also supports delivery of the policy outcomes whilst minimising regulatory burdens.
The aim of the Plant Health Programme is to protect plant health in England and Wales by preventing the introduction and spread of quarantine pests and diseases, and ensuring the availability of healthy planting material. The Policy Programme is also responsible for co-ordinating plant health across the UK and crown dependencies as the “Single Central Authority” under the EC Plant Health Directive, and the “National Plant Protection Organisation” under the International Plant Protection Convention. General policy objectives include: (a) development of optimal plant health policy; (b) exclusion (keeping plant pests and diseases out of the UK); (c) surveillance, eradication and containment of quarantine plant pests and diseases; (d) trade facilitation through plant health certification. Additionally, the Plant Health Programme includes policy input and oversight to the Phytophthora project, to reduce risks from Phytophthora ramorum and Phytophthora kernoviae.
The aim of the Bee Health Programme is to achieve a sustainable and healthy population of honey bees for pollination and honey production in England and Wales via strengthened partnership working between Government and other stakeholders. The Policy Programme also co-ordinates bee health policy across the UK and links, normally through Defra’s Animal Health Programme, to international negotiations on bee health issues. The Bee Health Programme includes project management of the Healthy Bees Plan. The Policy Programme oversees implementation of bee health policy by other programmes within Fera and external delivery partners.
The aim of the Plant Varieties and Seeds (PVS) Programme is to encourage improvements in plant varieties and maintain seed quality through legislation and provision of services for National Listing (NL), Plant Breeders’ Rights (PBR), and seeds marketing. The PVS policy team co-ordinates policy and is responsible for development of legislation on plant varieties and seeds issues, through negotiation in EU and international fora, and its implementation. The PVS delivery team provides services for seeds marketing for England and Wales and, in partnership with the devolved administrations, provides services for National Listing and Plant Breeding Registration for the whole of the UK. The Policy Programme oversees implementation of PVS policy by other programmes within Fera and external delivery partners including the National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB), the British Society of Plant Breeders (BSPB), the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI), Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA), Biomathematics and Statistics Scotland (BioSS) and the Home Grown Cereals Authority (HGCA).
The overall objective of the project is to provide a robust and comprehensive evidence base to inform future policy development including prioritisation of Fera programmes, preparation of internal Business Plans and Impact Assessments required to support changes in legislation as well as feeding into future policy reviews and international negotiations. The proposed work should consider England and Wales, but with a view to extrapolating estimates to the whole of the UK in relation to assessment of the costs and benefits of interventions deriving from EU legislation. Fera will explore separately whether there should be input from the other devolved administrations.
Objective
There are two principal objectives for this project.

The first is to produce an economic analysis of each sector subject to policies in the three areas of Bee Health, Plant Health and Varieties and Seeds; this is likely to cover structure, costs (eg, set-up costs, labour costs, etc), income, net margins or viability of businesses, return on investment, demography, expected productivity gains over next x years (eg, from new technology, methods).

The second is to produce cost-benefit analyses from the interventions of the three policy areas; Bee Health, Plant Health and Varieties and Seeds; this is likely to cover compliance costs, scope to adjust to new regulations/ charges/ burdens, willingness and/or ability to pay for Fera services – statutory and non-statutory]. The relative impact of Government intervention compared to other factors should also be included.

This will provide a robust and comprehensive evidence base to inform future policy development including prioritisation of work areas, preparation of internal business cases and Impact Assessments required to support changes in legislation as well as feeding into future policy reviews and international negotiations.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2011

To: 2012

Cost: £155,751
Contractor / Funded Organisations
F E R A (FERA)
Keywords
Bee Health              
Plant health              
Plant Varieties and Seeds              
Fields of Study
Plant Health