The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) and Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) are preparing to launch a new IT system to support the export of plants and plant products.
A private beta version is currently in operation and the new service is expected to become available to traders on a phased basis through the summer and autumn.
Susanna Wright, product owner for plant IT systems at Defra, said the existing system is ageing and runs on technology that will soon be unsupported. In addition, Defra expects the number of exporters will increase and believes this will create a risk to the stability of the system.
She said the new system will meet Government Digital Service standards and has been developed with user research, process mapping and taking into account the service needs of a changing industry.
In addition to the external service, a new internal application is being built on Microsoft Dynamics to carry out more functions within a single system.
Wright added: “We are continuing to work at pace. Over the coming months we will roll out other commodity journeys including potatoes, seeds, grain and bulbs.
“We will continue to expand the functions and capability within PHES, always in consultation with our users, to deliver the best experience possible to plant based exporters.”
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