The North American Plant Protection Organization (NAPPO) held its 38th Annual Meeting on October 20-24, 2014 in Huatulco, Oaxaca, Mexico; the Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fish and Food (SAGARPA) organized this event, through the National Service for Plant Health, Safety and Agri-food Quality (SENASICA), Plant Health General Directorate. There were 143 participants from 10 countries: Canada, the United States, Australia, Argentina, Brazil, El Salvador, Guatemala, Uruguay, Costa Rica and Mexico. There were 20 presentations and over 40 industry associations participated
Members from NAPPO’s sister organizations such as the International Regional Organization for Plant and Animal Health (OIRSA), Regional Plant Health Committee for the Southern Cone (COSAVE), as well as the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), attended this Annual Meeting. They also participated in a joint meeting with the NAPPO Executive Committee to identify projects of mutual interest.
NAPPO, OIRSA and COSAVE are regional plant protection organizations recognized by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), which have similar missions regarding phytosanitary protection and trade facilitation at the international level. They represent neighbouring regions with high levels of trade and tourism activities, which in turn bring higher risks of spreading quarantine pests at the intraregional level. This heightens the need to effectively coordinate the protection of natural resources without affecting trade and movement of individuals; hence, the importance of maintaining a close collaboration with these organizations.
During the Annual Meeting, concurrent industry and government sessions were held by country: Canada, United States and Mexico, and later on a combined government-industry session took place in which all participated. Independent growers and representatives from organized industry groups were invited to these meetings where information was exchanged in order to better identify priorities and specific issues as possible NAPPO assignments for 2015.
The symposium during the 38th NAPPO Annual Meeting centered on "Electronic phytosanitary certification: From concepts to implementation", where internationally renowned experts shared their knowledge and provided the expected benefits of their applications.
The annual meeting provided participants an opportunity to hear about NAPPO achievements from the previous year, with reports from several expert groups on their achievements and planned objectives. At the same time, the Executive Committee recognized that the new financial challenges will need NAPPO’s effort to adapt to the changing needs and resources.
We thank the private sector from the United States, Canada and Mexico for their enthusiastic participation during this event, as well as all their contributions during the expert groups meetings. This important sector is the end user of NAPPO regional standards, many of them eventually become national standards.