Friday 22 August 2014 (Canberra) – Australian farmers and manufacturers of seed treatment products now have access to contemporary best management practice guidance on the handling and planting of treated seed with the launch of the Seed Treatment Stewardship Strategy. The Strategy is part of CropLife Australia’s new Pollinator Protection Initiative.

“Australia has one of the healthiest honey bee colonies in the world and the Pollinator Protection Initiative recognises the importance of pollinators for Australian agriculture and the environment. The Seed Treatment Stewardship Strategy is the first best management practice guidance to be made available under the Initiative, to ensure that modern, innovative crop protection products are used responsibly and in a manner that minimises risk to pollinators,” said Matthew Cossey, Chief Executive Officer of CropLife Australia.

“Seed treatments are an excellent example of how the seed industry and the crop protection industry provide Australian farmers with pioneering tools to meet ongoing crop production challenges. Seed treatments are specifically tailored to meet farmers’ pest and disease control needs by acting as a delivery mechanism that minimises risks to health, safety and the environment.

“The Seed Treatment Stewardship Strategy has been developed by Australian industry experts, drawing on the latest international and domestic information available. It outlines measures to reduce potential risks from the dust generated during handling and planting of seed and provides guidance on industry best practice to minimise unintended movement of pest and disease management products,” said Mr Cossey.

“CropLife is proud to have partnership support of the Seed Treatment Stewardship Strategy from organisations that represent farmers across Australia including AgForce, the Australian Seed Federation, Grain Producers Australia, Grain Producers SA, the NSW Farmers’ Association, the Northern Territory Farmers Association, the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association and the Western Australian Farmers Federation.

“CropLife recognises that it’s essential to provide the latest stewardship information and techniques to farmers and other crop protection product users so their business operations keep up-to-date with world’s best practice. The active support of a number of state farming organisations and producer groups for this CropLife initiative will help to ensure best management practice advice is readily available to farmers across Australia.

“The majority of the total value of Australian crop production would not be possible without the use of crop protection products. It is crucial that agronomists, farmers and other users of crop protection products have access to the latest, most accurate advice on how to use them safely, responsibly and sustainably.”

“The PPI is part of CropLife Australia’s Stewardship First program, which aims to foster the responsible, sustainable use of crop protection products throughout their lifecycle, helping to extend the life of these vital farming tools, and ensuring the protection of human and environmental health,” concluded Mr Cossey.

The Seed Treatment Stewardship Strategy is available to download at www.croplife.org.au/PPI

Contact: Jaelle Bajada (Manager – Public Affairs)         Ph: 02 6230 6399         Mob: 0410 491 261

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