A new potato industry stewardship initiative ‘Be CIPC Compliant’ www.CIPCcompliant.co.uk has formed to help growers, contractors and the supply chain take the urgent steps needed to keep the vital sprout suppressant CIPC available, and prevent further residue exceedances in fresh and processed crops occurring.
Launched at the Potato Council’s Potato Storage Day in Lincoln, the new initiative from the Potato Industry CIPC Stewardship Group (PICSG*) is a call to action in advance of the 2013/14 storage season.
“We know that the loss of this vital storage tool would be devastating to the potato supply chain,” said PCL’s Adrian Cunnington. “There are currently no alternatives for many businesses that rely on CIPC to generate the year-round demand for British fresh and processed potatoes.”
He outlined that to ‘Be CIPC Compliant’, there are a number of key actions. “For crop owners there are four main areas. In summary, they are to firstly take personal responsibility for the crop and all activities relating to CIPC treatment to ensure they conform with the Maximum Residue Level (MRL).
“Secondly, ‘Get in on early’, within three weeks of harvest. This approach gives the best chance of successfully controlling sprout growth with the least amount of CIPC. Thirdly, for cold stores with a holding temperature of 5°C or below, only one application should be used.
“Finally, we are promoting the use of the wealth of information available to ensure compliance with the Stewardship Code of Best Practice for the application of CIPC. This information is now all available from the new website www.cipccompliant.co.uk.”
Adrian adds that there is new and strengthening protocol for Red Tractor Farm Assurance (RTFA) that now incorporates new CIPC best practice measures, including a compulsory store check prior to use. Key supply chains are strongly engaged and will ensure they only source potatoes from stores following the CIPC Code of Best Practice. There is further advice specific to applicators, who should now be NAAC accredited for applying CIPC. For 2013/2014 some supply chains have indicated that they will only source from stores that have been treated by an accredited applicator.
Speaking at the Potato Storage Day, Potato Industry CIPC Stewardship Group Chairman, Dr Mike Storey updated delegates on the regulatory situation. He said that following the submission of a report to the regulatory authority ACP (Advisory Committee on Pesticides) from the CIPC stewardship group in January, and subsequent official review of CIPC stewardship, a response is now expected this autumn.
“We have made the case for the potato industry’s continuing need for CIPC, and demonstrated the progress of work that has been rolled out over the last five years. This includes the change of statutory rates; the delivery of new R&D and practical advice; and robust industry monitoring for residues,” said Dr Storey.
“We also showed the industry commitment to stewardship and high awareness of the serious implications of exceedances. This is backed up by research showing that the majority of those responsible for the management of stored crops report that their practices have changed, indicating that best practice measures are being adopted.”
Further changes will however still be required for the storage season ahead. Potato Council’s Adrian Cunnington highlighted some significant changes for the forthcoming season. “There is new information that will appear on CIPC labels as a result of the changing position on stewardship of this sprout suppressant,” he said.
“These new recommendations will affect the way in which CIPC is used, especially in low temperature potato stores and/or overhead throw box stores.” These recommendations are detailed on the stewardship website.
With Maximum Residue Level (MRL) exceedances having been found again recently, the message that there is still work to do, was reiterated at the Potato Storage Day. “Unless the actions required of the ‘Be CIPC Compliant’ initiative are even more widely adopted, and the industry can demonstrate that exceedances of CIPC on potatoes will not occur, then it is likely further regulatory action will be taken. However, the industry has come together to tackle this issue and is committed to changing businesses practices,” said Dr Storey.
*The Potato Industry CIPC Stewardship Group (PISG) is the potato industry group formed to promote the stewardship of the sprout suppressant CIPC comprises all the companies that hold the approvals for the CIPC formulations (Aceto Agrochemical Corporation, Certis, Dormfresh and UPL-Whyte Agrochemcials); the Potato Processors Association; the Fresh Potato Suppliers Association; the National Association of Agricultural Contractors (NAAC); Red Tractor Farm Assurance, and the research institutes Sutton Bridge CSR and Cranfield University.