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Biocontrol can help growers align with food safety policies

Theme: Basics of biocontrol

Governments are recently raising food safety standards to protect human health. Growers too are looking to use alternatives to chemical pest control to sell into wider, more lucrative markets.

Some global regions are introducing new policies to decrease chemical pesticide use. For example, the EU aims to halve pesticide use by 2030. A regulatory change is coming. And growers will need to insulate their businesses. Selling to international markets will be possible, but it’s going to mean a shift.

Organic tomatoes being sold at a market close-up.
Organic tomatoes at a farmer’s market in North America © Creative Commons

Biocontrol brings a competitive advantage

Biocontrol brings significant advantages. One of them is compatibility with food safety policies. Bioprotectants align with integrated pest management (IPM). And they support organic certification schemes too. They can even help biodynamic agriculture. (This is a holistic approach to farming. It considers ecological and ethical elements.)

Growers can use both macrobials and biopesticides as biocontrol. Biopesticides include fungi and organic substances like oils and pheromones. Macrobials include beneficial mites and predatory insects.

Countries are moving away from chemicals. So, finding alternatives is becoming a business issue. Biocontrol brings considerable advantages to farmers and growers. It allows them to continue producing even when regulations change. It reinforces the sustainability of their businesses.

Use of chemical pesticides and food safety policies

Currently, many growers use pesticides. But these chemical solutions can result in residues and restrict business. High residues lead to import bans. Many countries can reject valuable shipments at the border.

The EU, for example, has previously banned horticultural imports. Fruit and vegetables don’t make it past the border if they don’t comply. Food safety policies shape the market. And bans can affect farmer livelihoods.

Growers need to start thinking about avoiding chemicals. This approach can help them achieve higher food production standards. But it can also help them access stricter international markets. This move means they can future-proof their businesses. And future-proofed businesses mean safer livelihoods.

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