Changes have been proposed to the seed potato Safe Haven assurance scheme which would mean Brown Rot and Epitrix would be covered on top of the existing Ring Rot and Dickeya.
The changes also mean the scheme would apply to areas such as water use, storage best practice and traceability.
The revised standards are going out for official consultation with industry, and the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) will contact all potato levy payers in the next few weeks to encourage them to respond to the proposals.
The scheme, which was introduced after a Ring Rot outbreak in England and Wales in 2003 from seed sourced from the Netherlands, has been largely successful at protecting GB seed stocks from both Ring Rot and Dickeya, with 60% of growers certified (by area) under Safe Haven Standards.
Vicky Smith, technical manager from the assurance body Red Tractor, said a grower survey had identified key ways in which standards could be strengthened.
She said: “While the standards have served the industry well, the world does move on and the potato sector is no different,
“We need standards which can cope with the changing environment, with political issues like Brexit and, of course, climate change.”
The new standards include closer monitoring of water use and storage, and there is also a new standard for growers to have systems in place which will ensure traceability of all seed and ware crops on farm.
The scheme has a total of 24 standards which focus on avoiding and managing risk of contamination.
These cover plans and procedures, seed classification, ware classification, water use, hygiene, transportation, machinery, grading and packing, farm visitors and storage.
While there are eight new standards, some of the existing ones have also been updated to ensure clarity, particularly around the audit process.
Dr Rob Clayton, AHDB potatoes strategy director, said: “We really want strong engagement with this consultation from across the industry, so we can make sure that we’ve got this right. The Safe Haven Standards have done an excellent job at protecting the seed sector in the last 16 years, we need to make sure they continue to do so.”
Safe Haven Standards will be open to industry consultation for six weeks, beginning on August 19.
The consultation will be emailed directly to levy payers and industry bodies, and will also be available on the AHDB and Red Tractor website.