The development of a plant health barometer, an instrument to measure the general phytosanitary situation on a national level (Belgium) and on a yearly basis and to monitor its evolution over time, is described. The elaboration of a set of 13 plant health indicators (PHI’s) as the basis for the plant health barometer is discussed. These indicators were weighted by experts - including scientists, policy makers and agro-industrial representatives - to determine their relative impact in the barometer. The result of the barometer is expressed as a comparison with the previous year. Based on the results of the 13 PHI’s, it is concluded that the general plant health in Belgium shows a positive evolution from 2007 until 2010 and a negative evolution from 2010 until 2012. The plant health barometer provides a overview of the phytosanitary situation of plants and plant products in Belgium and is a tool to communicate in an intelligible, comprehensible manner on aspects of plant health to consumers and professional stakeholders in the plant production chain. Together with the food safety barometer and the animal health barometer, the plant health barometer is one of the three instruments to provide a overview on the general status of the safety of the food chain in Belgium.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Baert, K., Van Huffel, X., Wilmart, O., Jacxsens, L., Berkvens, D., Diricks, H., Huyghebaert, A., & Uyttendaele, M. (2011). Measuring the safety of the food chain in Belgium: development of a barometer. Food Research International, 44(4), 940–950.
Baert, K., Van Huffel, X., Jacxsens, L., Berkvens, D., Diricks, H., Huyghebaert, A., & Uyttendaele, M. (2012). Measuring the perceived pressure and stakeholders’ response that may impact the status of the safety of the food chain in Belgium. Food Research International, 48(1), 257–264.
Bezirtzoglou, C., Dekas, K., & Charvalos, E. (2011). Climate changes, environment and infection: facts, scenarios and growing awareness from the public health community within Europe. Anaerobe, 17(6), 337–40.
Depoorter, P., Van Huffel, X., Diricks, H., Imberechts, H., Dewulf, J., Berkvens, D., Uyttendaele, M. Measuring general animal health status: development of an animal health barometer. Submitted for publication in Preventive Veterinary Medecine.
FCEC. (2010). Evaluation of the Community Plant Health Regime. Food Chain Evaluation Consortium (FCEC). European Commission, DG SANCO. Available at the following address: http://ec.europa.eu/food/plant/plant_health_biosafety/rules/index_en.htm
Gore, S. M. (1987). Biostatistics and the medical research council. MRC News, 35, 19–20.
Houins, G. (2009). Business plan for the food agency 2009–2011, 88p. Available in French at the following address: http://www.afsca.be/publicationsthematiques/business-plan-AFSCA.asp
Pautasso, M., Dehnen-Schmutz, K., Holdenrieder, O., Pietravalle, S., Salama, N., Jeger, M. J., Lange, E., & Hehl-Lange, S. (2010). Plant health and global change–some implications for landscape management. Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society, 85(4), 729–55.
Scientific Committee. (2010). Advice 28–2010 of the Scientific Committee of the FASFC on 10th September 2010. Development of a barometer of the safety of the food chain: methodology and case study: ‘food safety barometer’ (dossier Sci Com 2009/09). Available at the following address: http://www.afsca.be/scientificcommittee/advices/_documents/Advice28-2010-FoodSafetyBarometer_001.pdf.
Scientific Committee. (2011). Advice 10–2011 of the Scientific Committee of the FASFC on 26th September 2011. The development of a plant health (phytosanitary situation) barometer (dossier Sci Com 2009/09ter). Available at the following address: http://www.afsca.be/scientificcommittee/advices/_documents/ADVICE10-2011_EN_DOSSIER2009-09ter.pdf.
Scientific Committee. (2012). Advice 11–2012 of the Scientific Committee of the FASFC on 4th May 2012. The weight factors of the indicators used in the food safety, animal health and plant health (phytosanitary situation) barometers (dossier Sci Com 2012/03). Available at the following address: http://www.afsca.be/scientificcommittee/advices/_documents/Advice11-2012.pdf.
StataCorp. (2011). Stata: Release 12. Statistical Software. College Station TX, Stata Corp LP.
State Secretary for combating poverty, FPS Social Integration, FPS Social Security and FPS Economy. (2011). The inter-federal poverty barometer. Available in French at the following address: http://enquete.mi-is.be/armoedebarometer/pages_fr/startMenu.html
Sustainable Development Task Force. (2009). Indicators, goals and visions of sustainable development’ – Federal Report on sustainable development. 232 p. Available in French at the following address: http://www.plan.be/admin/uploaded/200910261233400.rapport_2009_fr.pdf
The authors acknowledge the members of the working group ‘SciCom 2009/09 ter’ (cf. Scientific Committee 2011) for their collaboration and of the Scientific Committee of the FASFC for their supervision and validation of this study.
About this article
Cite this article
Wilmart, O., Van Huffel, X., Diricks, H. et al. Measuring the general phytosanitary situation: development of a plant health barometer. Eur J Plant Pathol 141, 349–360 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10658-014-0547-x
- Plant health
- Phytosanitary situation