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Cereals 2011: Crop protection key to food security qrcode

Jun. 17, 2011

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Jun. 17, 2011
The economic importance of the crop protection industry is vital to the UK economy and key to delivering two thirds of what goes into the UK food chain.

Speaking on the first day of the Cereals event, Dominic Dyer, chief executive of the Crop Protection Association (CPA) said that the crop protection industry was worth £170 billion, it employed 4 million people and it was worth 10 per cent of the UK’s GDP when taking into account food retail and manufacturing.

"It’s a key message we are trying to get across at the moment and the fact that farmers wouldn’t be able to produce what they do without it,” he said.

Mr Dyer stressed that the recently published ‘Foresight’ report which had assessed what food security would be like in 20-30 years time, had added weight to the message.

"The challenge is taking the story to Europe,” continued Mr Dyer. “We have made it clear to Caroline Spelman that the research results need to be taken to Europe. That’s where we see the major problems and where campaign groups are quick to demonize technology which, in turn, continues to restrict production.”

Mr Dyer said he was pleased with developments under the Sustainable Use Directive, whereby the Government had accepted the value of the Voluntary Initiative. “The VI has improved crop protection safety measures and made significant steps to protect the environment, and so we can look forward positively to the next 10 years of the VI.”

He said it was key that the industry kept its eye on stewardship adding that the CPA had been very active in distributing over 50,000 bee booklets to growers across the country, adding that, if used incorrectly, pesticides did have a negative affect on bee populations. “Bees and pesticides are a very emotive subject but there will be some that claim that pesticides are the key reason for a decline in the bee population,” he warned.

Source: Farmers Guardian
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