Four growers representing the field vegetables sector are among the eight directors of Horticultural Crop Protection, the new company established to take over the job of applying for minor use pesticide approvals (EAMUs) plus any crop protection approval including non-pesticide biological controls following the winding down of AHDB Horticulture. They were appointed at its first AGM in February.
They are Derek Wilkinson and Keston Williams to represent the interests of field vegetables generally, Rob Parker (salad crops) and Sam Rix (onions).
The four other directors are Ali Capper (top fruit), consultant Louise Sutherland (soft fruit), Robert James (protected edible crops) and Robin Squance (ornamentals).
Jack Ward, chief executive of the British Growers Association which is providing administrative support to the new company, said it was now ready for a seamless takeover of the work in April.
“We have secured enough funding for cash flow in the first year and are working hard to establish the grower subscription system to ensure future costs can be met,” he said.
“Now everything is up and ready to go, and already has significant industry backing, it is vital for the industry that growers get behind it.”
He said the industry would have to get accustomed to the idea of a new model of funding for EAMUs. “No sector can afford to lose this vital route to crop protection tools,” he said.
Mr Ward said the organisation would continue to work on the 80 to 90 applications for new EAMU authorisations each year that was historically undertaken by AHDB. He expects a number already in the pipeline will become available to growers during the next few months.