Remarks on Integrated Pest Management in food chain
Abstract: A team of authors has published a review paper on the European Union’s eight principles of Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The paper provides researchers, advisers and farmers with an approach for applying these legal requirements intelligently to promote local innovation while reducing reliance on pesticides and associated risks. The process envisioned therefore requires learning, adaptation, and tweaking of a number of farm management practices. It also requires attention to non-technical aspects such as the social environment in which farmers operate collective learning and farmer’s inclination for step-wise rather than drastic changes. Also the food industry has been moving away from structural fumigations and calendar-based chemical pesticide applications towards IPM. This shift has been driven by the loss of pesticides such as methyl bromide, consumer demand for reduced pesticide usage, and development of ‘precision-application’ technologies and pest guidelines. These somewhat antagonistic trends (less reliance on and use of pesticides, and the demand for perfect food products) highlight one of the main challenges faced by the food industry.