03 May 2013

Premier Foods support development of UK National Pollinators Action Plan

We're supporting the development of a UK National Pollinators Action Plan

It is accepted that UK pollinators, including bees and butterflies, are less healthy and abundant in recent years than they have been in the past. If this trend continues, it could have serious implications, since most plants rely on the many species of pollinator insects to transfer pollen from one flower to another in order to set fruits and seeds.
There are many factors that are thought to have led to this decline including; intensive farming, habitat loss, insect parasites and pathogens, climate change impacts and the use of pesticides. In the UK there are at least 39 crops grown for fruit or seed that are pollinated by insects. These include the apples, blackcurrants and raspberries used in our Mr. Kipling cakes.  Therefore, we have an interest in ensuring that UK pollinators are protected, now and in the future. In April 2013, the EU Commission agreed to adopt a restriction on the use of three neonicotinoid pesticides (clothiandin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam) for seed treatment, soil application (granules) and foliar treatment on bee attractive plants and cereals. This followed the inability of the Member States to reach either a qualified majority in favour or against a proposal to restrict these pesticides due to differing opinions on the scientific evidence available. The restriction will enter into force from 1 December 2013. As soon as new information is available, and at the latest within two years, the Commission will review the conditions of approval of the three neonicotinoids to take into account relevant scientific and technical developments. We believe that there is no single cause for the decline of UK pollinators. Therefore, we support the development and implementation of a comprehensive UK National Pollinators Action Plan (NPAP) that will take account of the full range of environmental, technical and hive management factors that may be contributing to the decline. It is important, however, that any measures forseen as part of a national plan are based on a robust scientific and risk based approach. This includes the use of pesticides. We consequently support the EU Commission’s intent to review the conditions of approval of the three neonicotinoids as new scientific information becomes available. We will actively seek to work with the many stakeholders who will need to be involved in taking this important work forward.

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