ENA, the European Nurserystock Association, represents nursery stock growers’ organisations all over Europe. The nurseries, where live plants are propagated, grown and traded, are direct members of regional or national nurseries organizations that, at an upper level, are members of ENA. European organisations representing nursery stock producers established a European association, ENA, for closer economic, social and cultural cooperation at the international level; conscious of their responsibility towards the nursery stock profession and being attentive to work for a better world supplying plants for all purposes and regions.
Twenty-five years of ENA history demonstrates that cooperation between members is far better in achieving mutual gainful results. ENA promotes member cooperation of national promotional organisations and of research institutes.
Since the foundation began, an increasing number of nurseries organizations have joined ENA, with 20 countries currently affiliated. ENA represents over 17.000 nurseries growing plants on more than 100.000 hectares, employing more than 100.000 workers and, within the European Union, ENA members account for around 80% of the plant business turnover.
Through its professional member-organisations, the ENA represents, at an international level, the common interests of growers and traders of hardy nursery stock products, including perennials. ENA also tries to be a platform for exchanging knowledge between members.
This purpose is among other things, carried out by means of meetings, contacts with EU, national and international organisations and authorities, the encouragement of professional training, scientific development and research, international documentation, publicity and exhibitions.
The other main goal is to represent and actively defend the nurseries interests at an international level, mainly at the European Union institutions.
In the early nineties, with the expansion of the European nursery stock market along with the disappearance of country borders within the European Union, nursery stock representatives in Germany and the Netherlands considered the need for closer economic, social and cultural cooperation within the sector. Particular emphasis was put on maintaining and furthering the health and prosperity of the nursery stock industry. Against this background, the need to have an EU discussion platform was agreed on and the European Nurserystock Association (ENA) was founded.
Founding members, the nurseries organizations from Germany and the Netherlands, were soon joined by France, Belgium and the United Kingdom in ENA. During the meetings of the Committees and the Council, it was common to use three languages, French, German and English. Professional interpreters were always present. This lasted until the late nineties. Nowadays, English is the official language within ENA and is used in communications, meetings and the General Assembly.
In early 2013, ENA renewed its statutes and became an NPO (non-profit organization), based in Belgium.
Twenty countries now constitute the membership of ENA: Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.
ENA works on political matters at EU level, but also deals with technical matters of interest to non EU-members. ENA has addressed many technical issues related to the nursery stock sector and continues to monitoring EU regulations related to the sector.
Issues covered by ENA’s agenda in recent years include:
- EU Quality Standards for nurserystock products;
- Plant names list;
- SAN-code (Speaking Article Number);
- Packaging directive;
- Plant diseases;
- Environmental aspects;
- European Single Payment Scheme;
- Loss of PPP (Plant Protection Products);
- Market Research Reports;
- Modernising the EU Common Plant Health Regime
The official body of ENA is the General Assembly. The members of the General Assembly are nominated by the member-associations of the countries concerned. The duration of their membership is not restricted. The General Assembly meets at least twice a year, once in the winter, usually in Essen at IPM trade show and once in the summer, in one of the member countries.
The President is the chief office-holder of ENA. A Vice-President and a Treasurer are the other ENA officers. In the exercise of its functions, the General Assembly calls on the services of the ENA-Secretary General, it lies within his competence to deal with the daily businesses of ENA.
To better achieve the goals and serve the European nurseries interests, ENA has different working groups:
EU Legislation working group, chaired by Mr Marc Van Hulle.
Promotion working group, chaired by Mr Leon Smet.
International Plant Names working group, chaired by Mr Leon Smet and directed by Dr Marco Hoffman.
Sustainability working group, chaired by Mr Harm Horlings.
This allows ENA to harness relevant expertise on a wide range of subjects.