Nick von Westenholz, CEO of the CPA said;
"Our industry takes a close interest in the issue of pollinator health, both because of the importance of pollinators in crop production, and because of the need to ensure farmers are able to use important products such as pesticides safely alongside healthy pollinator populations.
"We welcome publication of the final National Pollinator Strategy (NPS), and in particular the balanced attitude to the different factors that potentially affect pollinator health. We also support the emphasis on an evidence-based approach, with the assurance of flexibility to take account of new evidence as it arises.
"It is pleasing to see that the strategy recognises that pesticides are subject to one of the most stringent approvals processes in the world and are but one of a range of factors, including habitat loss, disease and climate change, that have the potential to put adverse pressure on pollinators. However, it is disappointing to see that some NGOs have reacted to the publication of the strategy by calling for further bans on key agricultural chemicals, without any evidence of harm from their use.
"The crop protection industry actively supports on-going research, stewardship and education programmes aimed at protecting the health of bees and other pollinators. For example, through Operation Pollinator, Syngenta have worked with UK farmers to establish an additional 400 hectares of wildflower field margins. These margins will be viable for three to five years before replanting and provide an ideal habitat for a range of pollinators. We look forward to continuing our work with government and industry stakeholders to promote best practice in the use of pesticides to protect pollinators and other wildlife."