Producing and distributing food – guidance

Pests and diseases in fruit and vegetables

Information on notifiable pests and diseases in fruit and vegetables.


Pests and diseases in fruits and vegetables can have a negative economic impact on individual commercial producers and on the entire fruit and vegetable industry.

In addition to indigenous species and strains, there is a threat from the spread of foreign pests and diseases that could impact on the UK fruit and vegetable production industry.

It is important that you can recognise early signs of pests and diseases in your crops in order to deal with the problem and inform your local Plant Health and Seeds Inspectorate office if necessary. The Plant Health and Seeds Inspectorate (PHSI) is part of the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA).

Defra is responsible for plant heath regulations and works with the Forestry Commission to form the UK Plant Health Service. It also works with other European member states and the European Commission to agree appropriate plant health rules for Europe and co-ordinate their implementation.

Defra Risk Register/Plant Health Portal

Defra’s Risk Register/Plant Health Portal provides information on pests and diseases. It uses biological, scientific and economic evidence to determine action to be taken for prevention.

Disease monitoring

Potato brown rot is a serious bacterial disease of potato which is not established in the UK but is a threat to the potato industry.

APHA annual monitors potatoes and watercourses for the organism (Ralstonia solanacearum) which causes potato brown rot.

Restrictions are imposed in the event of positive findings, which for watercourses means that irrigation and spraying of potato and tomato crops is only possible using an approved method, such as winter abstraction and storage, or water treatment. The PHSI must be consulted by growers or companies interested in developing or using an approved technique.

Survey results 2014 (PDF, 128KB, 2 pages)

For previous sample results and further information, see the archived APHA web pages

Further information

Pest and disease factsheets

Phytophthora ramorum and Phytophthora kernoviae

Defra technical review of the Phytophthora programme

Government policy on tree and plant health

Approval of pesticides

Pests and diseases in flowers and shrubs


Plant Health and Seed Inspectorate

01904 405 138

Chemicals Regulation Directorate Helpline

01904 455 775

Defra Helpline

03459 33 55 77

RPA Helpline

0345 603 7777

Cross Compliance Helpline

0345 345 1302