The European Forest Nursery Association (EFNA) is an organisation primarily looking after the interests of the private forest nursery and forest seed industries within the European Union. The Association meets annually to review the past season’s activities and prospects for the new season and to consider any new European legislation or initiatives which may affect the running of the industry. For an update on the latest situation please click on the links below.
After the Second World War forest nurserymen in Western Europe began to renew the contacts which they had had pre-war but they experienced problems over seed supply and trade barriers. After the Treaty of Rome these trade barriers began to reduce but the new European laws started to influence their activities. Nurserymen from Germany, France, Holland, Italy and Belgium began meeting annually on an informal basis but with the knowledge that the European Commission was proposing to introduce a Directive covering the genetic quality of forest plants in the six European Economic Community countries it was decided to formally establish a Committee that could represent the views of the private nursery sector of the whole Community.
The Committee was formally constituted in Cologne, Germany in 1962 and Fm. a. D. Robert Rahte was elected President and Mr Streitberger as Secretary, both from Germany. The Committee was immediately involved in discussions over the drafting of Council Directive 1966/404 on the genetical quality of Forest Reproductive Material marketed in the Community. It was later consulted during the preparation and adoption of Council Directive 1971/161 on the physical quality of Forest Reproductive Material.
At that time the Committee met up to three times a year but in later years it has met only once a year. Meetings rotate round member countries but during the long drawn-out preparation of the revised Council Directive 1999/105 meetings were regularly held in Brussels to facilitate the attendance of European Commission staff for consultation. In the early years discussions took place in German and French and translations were made between the two languages of all discussions and documents circulated. When Denmark, Ireland and the UK joined English was adopted as the third language. This continued until the year 2000 when English became the one official language of the Committee.
Robert Rahte served for 16 years as President of the Committee and on his retrial he prepared a short history of the first 16 years of the Committee copies of which are available in German or French from the Secretary.
Mr Streitberger served as Secretary until 1971 at which time Helmut Astinet of Germany took over. He carried out the duties of Secretary for over 20 years and was succeeded by Dr Andy Gordon, UK, in 1993.