Keeping Pesticides Out of Water

                       Keeping Pesticides Out of Water

  PR Newswire

  BRUSSELS, Belgium, May 22, 2013

BRUSSELS, Belgium, May 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

Crop Protection industry rolls-out new scheme for water and biodiversity

Building on a growing portfolio of stewardship initiatives to ensure
sustainable use of pesticides, the crop protection industry is embarking on a
new campaign to promote the implementation of buffer strips between cropped
areas and open water bodies to reduce pesticide pollution of water from
run-off and promote biodiversity. This scheme aims to see recommendations for
the implementation of Vegetative Buffer Strips (VBSs) along the edges of water
bodies attached to all relevant product packaging on the European market by
the end of 2015

" The VBS scheme is the latest addition to the sustainable agriculture
initiatives of ECPA members, and contributes to the overall aim of protecting
water from potential negative impacts of pesticide use. This programme is open
to any company interested in joining and already has the commitment of key
European crop protection companies " ^[ ^1 ^] - explained Stuart Rutherford,
ECPA's Director of Environmental Affairs.

The VBS scheme will be initiated in Spain and Poland in 2014 ^[ ^2 ^] , with
an industry target of Europe-wide implementation by the end of 2015.
Participating companies will affix stickers to all relevant packaging
encouraging farmers and pesticide operators to use vegetative buffer strips
between treatment areas and water bodies. The stickers will include a link to
a dedicated webpage providing an explanation of the recommended measures in
local languages.

"The launch of this scheme coincides with the first delivery of a new training
programme tailor-made for our company Sales and Marketing personnel which
includes modules on water and biodiversity. The marketing and sales of crop
protection products represents an excellent opportunity for our industry to
pass on best practice advice to crop protection retailers, farmers and

" The VBS stickers and training reflect the commitment of the crop protection
industry to protect and enhance water and biodiversity in  Europe .  While
implementing these projects is at times challenging, I am very pleased that
our industry has found a way to work together in this genuinely Europe-wide
exercise to help protect the environment and help ensure the sustainable use
of crop protection products " - commented Friedhelm Schmider, Director General
of ECPA.

" We take the protection of water and biodiversity seriously; " continued
Schmider " last month we published two comprehensive crop protection user
guides for the prevention of water pollution from pesticides through run-off
and drift. " ^[ ^3 ^]

" These publications are the product of more than eight years of back-to-back
water focused projects. A 2005 European Commission LIFE co-funded project
kick-started a programme of industry led stewardship that continues today ^[
^4 ^] through a partnership supported by ECPA " - added Rutherford.

" Stewardship activities are not new to our industry, and we are building
momentum. Our experience with stewardship, together with renewed commitment to
improving the performance  and contribution of our industry ^[ ^5 ^] is a
productive combination.  We  see the protection of water as a key pillar of
our work, and we are committed to work continuously to support the correct use
of pesticides, as part of sustainable and productive agriculture. " concluded

^[1 ^] The VBS scheme has so far received the official backing of ECPA member
and SYNGENTA. The scheme is open to all relevant companies and is actively
recruiting new participants.

^[ ^2 ^] With sticker production and product packaging taking place during Q3
and Q4 2013, it is intended that all reasonable efforts will be made to ensure
that applicable products are marketed in the 2014 calendar year in Spain and
Poland with the VBS promoting sticker attached. Subject to the learnings from
this initial phase in 2014, the intention is for Europe-wide implementation by
the end of 2015.

^[ ^3 ^] Referring to guidance publications - ' Run-off: Best Management
Practices to reduce water pollution with plant protection products from
run-off and erosion ' , and ' Spray drift: Best Management Practices to reduce
spray drift ' , produced as part of ECPA multi-stakeholder initiatives TOPPS
and TOPPS-prowadis. For more information, visit to
download the publications, visit

^[ ^4 ^] The TOPPS-prowadis project (Train the Operator to Promote best
Practices and Sustainability - Protection of Water from Diffuse Sources) is an
ongoing project developing Best Management Practices and diagnosis tools to
reduce losses of PPP due to field runoff and spray drift. The project started
in 2011 after the TOPPS life project which focussed on the reduction of point
sources. TOPPS prowadis has so-far engaged more than 300 key stakeholder in
the selection of Best Management Practices and trained more than 250 advisors
in 7 European countries (BE, DE, DK, ES, FR, IT, PL). The project concentrates
now on the dissemination of BMPs and reduction measures mainly to advisers and
farmers (Information, trainings, demonstrations, publications). Runoff
mitigation measures are demonstrated in 6 pilot areas. For further information
on TOPPS projects, visit:

^[ ^5 ^] In 2011 ECPA launched the ' Time to Change' initiative, the fruit of
extensive critical evaluation of the performance and contribution of the crop
protection industry; the initiative aims to deliver measurable results in the
four thematic areas of safeguarding water, the enhancement of biodiversity,
the provision of safe and affordable food and the protection of health. This
strategy reflects industry's ambition to deliver sustainable solutions to
contemporary agricultural challenges. More at

The European Crop Protection Association (ECPA) represents the crop protection
industry interests at European level. Its members include all major companies
and national associations across Europe

Contact:Gavin Whitmore, Biodiversity and eCommunication Manager, ECPA. European Crop Protection Association, aisbl,
Switchboard : +32(0)2-663-1550 For more general information: - - -
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