New requirements for import of seeds of the Apiaceae family including carrot, parsnip, celery, fennel, parsley and chervil were implemented in June last year as a result of Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum (CalSol) being found on a consignment of carrot seed.

These new important health standards for these species has meant some significant issues with getting seed into New Zealand as a result of breeding companies not being able to meet the following requirements as imposed by the Ministry for Primary Industries.

a) ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’ haplotypes C, D, and E are absent/not known to occur in ____________ (name of country). OR

Many countries are unable to meet this “Pest Free Place of Production” as CalSol is widespread in countries such as France where a lot of seed production is done particularly for crops such as carrot.

b) the seeds for sowing have been sourced from a seed lot officially sampled according to ISTA or AOSA methodology, and tested using a NPPO approved PCR method and found free from Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum haplotypes C, D and E. OR

Currently most testing is conducted onshore as there is not an NPPO approved method available in some countries, i.e. the Netherlands. Testing is complicated for crops that are pelleted, i.e. carrots, celery, fennel as pelleted seed cannot be used for testing – a raw seed sample must be provided along with the pelleted seed.

c) the seeds for sowing have been treated with hot water at a minimum temperature of 50oC for at least 20 continuous minutes.

Hot water treatment is not an option for some species. It is widely used and has been successful for carrots without impacting seed quality, however is not an option for sensitive species such as celery and parsnip where the germination may be impacted.

We appreciate the patience of our grower customers as we work through the challenges of importation of these crops. In some cases we have been unable to supply seed, i.e. hybrid parsnip, and as such are working very closely with our breeding partners to look into alternate options such as seed productions within New Zealand to ensure we can still get the best varieties to our customers and in a timely manner. If you have any questions on this please do not hesitate to give me a call, Charlotte Connoley 021301677 or

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