World Environment Day: CropLife call for a recommitment to sustainable agriculture

    5 June 2011

    On World Environment Day, CropLife Australia, is calling on industry, government and the Australian community to recognise the increasing challenges of global food security.

    World Environment Day provides the perfect opportunity for a recommitment to sustainable agriculture.

    “World Environment Day comes at a time when global food prices are at a record high and Australia has suffered a decade of drought followed by devastating natural disasters. Now is the time to ensure that all assistance and support is being provided to our farmers in their challenge to both sustainably supply food and protect the environment”, said CropLife Australia Chief Executive Officer, Matthew Cossey.

    “Today more than ever, the world’s farmers need access to tools that minimise impact on the environment”, said Mr Cossey. GM and traditional crop protection technologies, while not a ‘silver bullet’ to food security demands, are a critical component of the solution. For the past 15 years, farmers across the globe have opted to grow GM crops for their high yielding qualities and environmental benefits such as reduced CO2 emissions. Likewise, the use of modern agricultural chemical products ensures maximum yields and a reduction of natural resources. According to Mr Cossey, “the ability to grow more food with less land and other resources is what it’s all about. Australia’s plant science industry produces valuable tools that help farmers tackle the challenges of drought, flood and salinity. It is the modern farming tools of crop protection and genetic modification that will assist in supporting the sustainable production of safe, nutritious, abundant and affordable food, while protecting natural ecosystems.

    CropLife member companies are also committed to sustainable agriculture – this means our members are constantly improving their products to make them more efficient, effective and sustainable, while supported by vigorous stewardship programs. This is why our industry invests in research and development to establish new products, better formulations, packaging and use systems. Government and industry need to continue working together to invest and innovate in the joint challenges of sustainability and productivity.

    Mr Cossey said, “Australia’s plant science companies are dedicated to enhancing and safeguarding our natural environment. Globally, the plant science industry is one of the world’s most innovative sectors, with the top 10 companies investing an estimated $4.72 billion in research and development each year”.

    CropLife and the Australian plant science industry are committed to the lifecycle stewardship of products. Our members have established stewardship programs to manage potential environmental impacts associated with agricultural chemical use and the use of GM crops. These stewardship programs include:

    drumMUSTER, which has collected and recycled over 17 million used pesticide containers;