Representatives from the UKVA and EWP met in York last week with the Chemicals Regulation Directorate (CRD) and DEFRA at the HSE to discuss issues relating to approvals of plant protection products. This was the first discussion of what is hoped will be an ongoing dialogue to facilitate the understanding of the positions of industry and regulator.
Vineyard owners will know that the Greenbook has grown thinner over the years and that CRD plays a role in granting approvals and EAMUs to products for use in vineyards but that these have reduced to a trickle. As an industry we needed to understand why this is the case. With DEFRA colleagues we pressed for a meeting to discuss the issues.
The use of PPPs is part of a package of measures to manage pests and diseases in vineyards, including sustainable ones but remain important to ensure we can produce quality fruit.
The meeting was amicable, discussed a range of product specific issues as well as more general ones. It soon became apparent that there were some misunderstandings of the relative positions of the two sides and some myth busting was done.
Officials of CRD will visit vineyards and talk to industry experts, which it is hoped, will aid their understanding of the seasonal round of the vine lifecycle, vineyard operations and management. From this it is hoped that this may help speed approvals. We now have a better understanding of the regulatory frameworks that CRD have to adhere to and which influence their decisions.
We were pleased that the meeting took place and that we have all have a clearer understanding of the positions of both sides and that dialogue will be ongoing and constructive. We look forward to welcoming CRD officials to vineyards in the Spring.