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Biopesticides Policy - PS2810

The term biopesticides covers three main classes of pesticide products: semiochemicals (such as pheromones),
micro-organisms and natural chemicals (such as plant extracts). These products have many established uses
for pest control and are increasingly being used by growers in the USA and mainland Europe. Today the need
for biological alternatives to synthetic pesticides is on the rise. The causes include various legislation which has
resulted in changes to pesticide availability, increasing resistance levels have made some existing products
inadequate, health and safety concerns and market pressures which increase demand for biological alternatives
to pesticides.
The UK government has taken an active role in encouraging the development and implementation of
biopesticides and offer reduced fees, free advice and a biopesticide specialist team to deal with biopesticide
product registrations. In addition to assistance at the registration level, there is considerable funding committed
towards the uptake of biopesticide products including sponsoring a HortLINK project (SCEPTRE) which has
more than 50 potential biopesticide products to test, alone and as components of IPM programmes. Despite
these efforts to encourage the commercialisation of biopesticides, they remain a very small part of the UK
pesticide market with few new products being registered each year.
This study aims to examine the commitment of the UK government to encourage biopesticides in the past,
assess the benefits secured, and make recommendations for the future in order to meet the aspirations of the
Sustainable Use Directive. Our proposal includes an experience Project Manager and Director and combines
expertise pesticide regulation with economists, technical and crop sector experts.
We will review the literature regarding the UK government’s past and current support for biopesticides, the
drivers encouraging development/use of biopesticides, and develop a list of the currently approved biopesticides
and their uptake in the UK market. We will use internal expert knowledge and our contacts within the industry to
quantify the costs and benefits of biopesticides to growers, manufacturers, and the government. We will
determine the commercial prospects and the barriers preventing further commercialisation of biopesticides
within representative crops by utilising existing data and contacting manufacturing companies (those who are
currently in the biopesticide market and those who are not). We will use expert and industry knowledge to
identify likely reasons for the success or failure of existing products and use this to evaluate the commercial
prospects. We will then examine these same points for five other countries and compare the nature of
biopesticides in each country to the UK. Results will be presented to key stakeholders at an interactive
workshop which together with our knowledge will be developed to produce recommendations to minimise
regulatory hurdles and facilitate/incentivise the commercialisation of biopesticides.
A key component of this project will be communicating the results to various stakeholder groups. Through a
range of interactive communication methods (workshop, reports, oral presentations, and short articles) we will
ensure that the results of this project reach the policy makers, manufacturers, growers and other interested
The main aim of this work is:
• To examine the commitment of the UK government to encourage biopesticides in the past, assess the
benefits secured, and make recommendations for the future in order to meet the aspirations of the
Sustainable Use Directive.
Specific objectives are to:
1. Review the effectiveness of the past and current UK government support for biopesticides.
2. Quantify the benefits and the costs of biopesticides to growers, manufactures and the government.
3. Assess the commercial prospects for biopesticides in the next ten years, their likely benefits, and the
barriers that will need to be overcome.
4. Conduct five case studies reviewing the support for biopesticides, the benefits and costs, and the
commercial prospects in the USA, the Netherlands, Denmark, France, and Spain (four EU member states
to be confirmed with Defra prior to project commencement).
5. Make recommendations to a) reduce regulatory hurdles whilst maintaining human and environmental
protection and b) facilitate/incentivise the commercialisation of biopesticides.
Project Documents
• EVID4 - Final project report : Biopesticides Policy   (1190k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2011

To: 2012

Cost: £39,790
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Disease Control              
Pest Control              
Fields of Study
Pesticide Safety