This page contains details of the contents of UK Pesticides Strategy: A strategy for the sustainable use of plant protection products (pdf, 40 pages) updated and revised in May 2008.
Contributing to Defra’s Strategic Priorities
The Strategy document explains how this initiative will contribute to Defra’s wider strategic objectives. The three objectives which are most relevant to the Strategy are:
- Protecting the Countryside and natural resources by: reducing water contamination; adverse impacts on biodiversity; and promoting best practice in all sectors;
- Sustainable food and farming by maintaining the quality and quantity of food; producing locally grown crops; and developing alternative treatments; and
- Sustainable consumption and production by minimising packaging waste; and encouraging availability to support local production.
The Strategy document explains the strategic outcomes sought by this initiative. These are to:
- Protect consumers by minimising risks from pesticides residues in food;
- Protect users and workers by minimising exposure to pesticides;
- Protect residents and bystanders by minimising exposure from spray operations;
- Reduce water pollution caused by pesticides;
- Reduce the impact of pesticides on biodiversity;
- Establish ‘best practice’ in the use of pesticides in the amenity sector;
- Minimise the risk to users and the environment from amateur pesticide products;
- Maintain the availability of sufficient methods of crop protection particularly for minor crops (and also minor uses on major crops); and
- Encourage the introduction of cost-effective alternative approaches and greater use of integrated crop and pest management.
The strategic outcomes will be delivered through a series of Action Plans covering: water, biodiversity, amenity use, amateur use, product availability and human health. Each Action Plan will be taken forward under a programme of measures developed by an Action Plan Implementation Group.
The Strategy document makes clear that success is dependent on:
- Users: complying with regulations, record-keeping requirements and codes of practice; adopting integrated approaches and supporting the Action Plans; and
- Government: consulting with stakeholders; preparing Impact Assessments for all new regulations; working to develop the Action Plan; promoting the uptake of alternative treatment regimes; and encourage the adoption of voluntary approaches wherever possible.
Integration with other Initiatives
The Strategy recognises the importance of coordinating initiatives influencing, or influenced by, pesticide use. This will be done partly by providing a clear strategic direction and also by involving relevant stakeholders on the Action Plan Groups.
It is also important that the strategy underpinned by an appropriate scientific base. It may be necessary to commission research and development projects to support new activity and the importance of appropriate knowledge transfer systems are acknowledged.
This Strategy will be reviewed as UK and EC policies relating to pesticide use develop. The first update (pdf, 20 pages) was published in 3 July 2007 and the second update (pdf, 4 pages) in August 2008.
Updated Strategy: Consultation
On 1st October 2007, we closed a consultation on an updated strategy that includes a new human health action plan. A summary of responses is now available.