A broad coalition of partners from across Europe have joined forces to launch today the second year of the #PlantHealth4Life campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the deep links between plant health and our everyday lives, stimulating citizen action to protect plant health. The campaign is led by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the European Commission (EC), and 22 European countries, including Latvia where it is implemented by the State Plant Protection Service.

How does plant health affect our lives?

Plants make up 80% of the food we eat and clean the air we breathe. But that’s not all: healthy plants mean good agricultural yield, which impacts food availability and food prices for consumers. Climate change and human activities such as trade and travel put plants under heavy pressure; the spread of plant pests and diseases can have devastating economic and environmental consequences. Think of the potato late blight, that in the mid-19th century led to a devastating loss of crops, which was a key factor in the Irish Potato Famine.

However, many European citizens still lack sufficient awareness on why plant health matters. #PlantHealth4Life aims to raise collective awareness about risks to plant health and about the role each one of us has to play to protect plants.

"Plant health impacts not only the environment, the economy, and the European food chain but also our present and our future – by keeping plants healthy, we are protecting life. It is therefore a source of pride to see how Europeans are engaged in the topic, as demonstrated by the unprecedented participation of Member States in the #PlantHealth4Life campaign," said Tobin Robinson, Head of EFSA’s PLANTS Unit, who will present the campaign at the "Plant Health Without Borders" symposium organised by the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the EU in Brussels today.

"Informed European citizens armed with accurate information on plant health can help protect and preserve our biodiversity," said Claire Bury, Deputy Director-General for Food Sustainability of DG SANTE. "Plant health is a priority for the European Commission within the One Health approach. By informing people about the importance of not importing pests into the European Union and empowering them with the knowledge to take appropriate actions, we can make a difference."

Get involved!

The actions of each and every European are key to keep plants healthy. Visit the #PlantHealth4Life campaign website and discover how you can safeguard plant health. You will find resources available in all EU languages, including press materials, social media posts to share on your channels, and videos.

You might find those useful especially if you are:

  • A curious traveller who loves exploring the world and nature.
  • A gardener growing and taking care of your vegetables, flowers and trees at home, in your backyard or on your balcony.
  • A parent, concerned about the food your kids eat, and eager to protect farming communities, the environment and biodiversity for future generations.

This year, there are many opportunities to take part in the campaign, which will tour fairs, exhibitions, and schools in participating countries.  We invite schools, families, and all plant lovers and nature enthusiasts to join us at these upcoming events in Latvia:

  • 17 May, 10:00-16:00, Plant Health Day at Botanical Garden of the University of Latvia: Children can compete in exciting tasks during the event.
  • 24-25 May, Festival "Latvian Forest Days" at Latvia's State Forests' Nature Park in Tērvete: Visit the Plant Health Tent for educational games and activities about plant health.

Throughout the summer, the Plant Health Tent will be present at various outdoor events. In the autumn, events will be organized in schools as part of the campaign. Follow the information on the State Plant Protection Service website for details on this year's activities.

About the campaign

#PlantHealth4Life is a multi-year and multinational campaign developed at the request of the EC and based on an in-depth analysis of perceptions and behaviour on plant health across the EU. This year, the campaign involves 21 Member States and a candidate country, doubling the reach from the previous year: Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Montenegro.

About EFSA

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is an agency of the European Union set up in 2002 to serve as an impartial source of scientific advice to risk managers and to communicate on risks associated with the food chain.

It cooperates with interested parties to promote the coherence of EU scientific advice and provides the scientific basis for laws and regulations to protect European consumers from food-related risks – from farm to fork.

Media contact:

Dace Ūdre

Komunikācijas vadītāja
dace.udre [at]