Professor Barry Dent, Chairman
Dr Anne Buckenham, Crop Protection Association
Mr. Jake Vowles, Agricultural Engineers Association
Mr. Jonathan Tipples, Assured Food Standards
Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher, County Land and Business Association
Mr. G Morgan, English Nature
Dr Andy Croxford, Environment Agency
Dr Sue Armstrong-Brown, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
Ms Sandra Bell, Friends of the Earth
Ms Caroline Drummond, LEAF
Ms Jill Hewitt, National Association of Agricultural Contractors
Mr. David Brightman, National Farmers Union
Mr John Kinnaird, National Farmers Union of Scotland
Mr David Buffin, Pesticides Action Network UK
Mr. Rob Morris, Scottish Environment Protection Agency
Mr Jim Reed, UKASTA
Mr. John Gilliland, Ulster Farmers Union
Mr. Matthew Wilkinson, WWF-UK
Dr Bob Breach, Water UK
Mr. Martin Savage, Crop Protection Association (Secretary)
Official Observers:
Dr John Garrod, DEFRA (Environmental Protection Directorate)
Mr David Williams, DEFRA (PSD)
Mr. Martin Johnson, Scottish Executive
Mr. John Sparrow, (HM Treasury)
Mr. Huw Jones, Welsh Assembly (Countryside Division)
Mr. Ian McKee, Department of Agriculture and Rural Development
(Northern Ireland)
Ms Natalia Davey, Department of Trade and Industry.
Mr Patrick Goldsworthy, Crop Protection Association (presenting papers)
Dr Chris Wise, National Farmers Union
Mr. I Watt, Crop Protection Association (presenting papers)
Mr. R Dyer, Crop Protection Association (presenting papers)
Ms J Edney, Crop Protection Association (presenting papers)
There were apologies from Mr. Michael Paske (NFU) and Dr Alastair Burn (English Nature).
The Chairman said that the agenda would be amended in view of Dr Breach having to leave the
meeting at 2.00 p.m.
The minutes of the last meeting were accepted as a true record with no amendments.
MATTERS ARISING (not covered by the Agenda)
Name of the programme
The Chairman reported that, at last, a name had been found for the programme. He said that
details of the logo had been distributed to all members of the Steering Group. The Minister had
rejected the strap line that was discussed at the previous meeting. The compromise is that a
footnote will appear as a re-statement about the programme. The guidelines contain a protocol
of how this will appears in publications, press releases and advertisements. Mr. Gilliland
thanked him for his delicate negotiations with the Minister. Mr. Kinnaird added that it is
important to progress away from these problems but to note that these were not all of the
making of the Steering Group.
Incentivisation of the Programme
The Chairman outlined the incentivisation workshop that had taken place the previous day. He
added that the issue of incentivisation will be considered in detail at the next meeting in May.
Mr. Kinnaird said that the workshop had proved fruitful in that it had provided a forum for
discussion by all interested parties. At the workshop Mr. Savage had provided background
information on incentivisation and had explained the current position. Mr. Will Manley of the
Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester had provided a very useful paper outlining his
experience in “incentivising” farmers towards other environmental schemes. This had been
followed by a workshop where participants were divided into 3 groups and given specific tasks
to discuss incentivisation of individual projects. A report-back session allowed a summary to be
produced. A further meeting of the incentivisation meeting group will be held in April/May so
that a final report can be produced.
Mr. Kinnaird said that work on incentivisation is now behind schedule and it will be important to
drive this forward. He said that Will Manley had provided a good overview of many of the issues
and this showed that farmers often lacked knowledge and skills relating to diffuse pollution
issues. The next stage would be to raise awareness by farmers but the major issue would be in
deciding who pays for this activity. He said that the opportunity cost of time for training by
farmers is a major issue. Many smaller farming units find it difficult to attend such training.
Speaking specifically about the workshop sessions, he said that these had been an important
part of the previous day’s programme and they demonstrated the importance of targeting all
farmers. He said that throughout the session the importance of communication was
emphasised. This must be both positive and proactive. Benefits must be clearly demonstrated
to farmers by using “carrots” and not just “sticks”. He said that the concept of a telephone helpline had been discussed for farmers who did not have access to the world-wide web and that
such a help-line could be promoted on printed matter such as delivery notes from the supply
industry. He added that the workshops had underlined the difference between motivation and
delivery. He referred to Mr. Gilliland’s recent visit to the Somme in France. This had been
undertaken to examine land management contracts to compensate for farmers from not using
“high risk” chemicals. The Chairman welcomed a report on this visit.
He said that more work is required to demonstrate the benefits of protecting water to farmers.
EMA is one means of promoting this but currently it is not sufficiently user-friendly. In summary,
he said that the group would now have to drive the incentivisation issue forward. Mr. Tipples
agreed with these points and stressed the key role of the Assurance Schemes.
Mr. Gilliland said that the workshop had been very constructive with over 30 participants
attending. The incentivisation sub-group welcomed the depth of new thinking that had been
produced. The Chairman thanked Mr. Kinnaird for the report and stressed the need for a full
report of the issue for the next meeting of the Steering Group. Mr. Breach said that any report
should clearly indicate views on what the Government could do to assist the process. He said
that much could be learnt from initiatives in Europe and these should also be fed back to
Government. Dr Armstrong-Brown said that the land management contracts in France are
financed by 20% modulation of the CAP. This is currently causing political problems in France
and will probably have the same effect in the UK. Mr. Kinnaird added that some “sticks” would
have to be used and that “grandfather” rights may have to be removed sooner rather than later.
Outcomes and Indicators Sub Group
This topic will also be considered at the next meeting. Mr. Gilliland commented that one
outcome of the incentivisation workshop was to stress the need to conclude a strategy and
adoption for the outcomes and indicators.
Pillar 2 (CPMPs)
The Chairman asked Dr Wise about the milestones that had been set for this Pillar. Dr Wise
responded by saying that it would not be easy to set these milestones until the “broad and
shallow” measures advocated in the Policy Commission report had been decided. He
confirmed that he remains in contact with the other organisations involved in this work.
Biodiversity Work
The Chairman enquired whether Dr Burn had supplied the information promised. Mr.
Goldsworthy thought that this had been done. The Chairman noted that Ms Edney’s milestone
report had not been delivered and asked Mr. Goldsworthy to take appropriate action.
Project 6 (Nozzle Selection)
Mr. Goldsworthy reported that the information had been sent out prior to the meeting.
Project 9 (Best Practice Campaign)
Mr. Goldsworthy reported that the CD-Rom had been sent to all members of the Steering
The Chairman noted that a detailed communication plan had been distributed and he asked
how the Communications sub-group is functioning. Mr. Goldsworthy confirmed that Mr. TrowSmith was working closely with the Communications sub-group and Mr Vowles added that the
group is due to meet again in the near future.
Mr. Kinnaird requested that Mr. Trow-Smith attend Steering Group meetings to provide progress
reports on communication issues.
The Chairman stressed that copies of communications activities should be sent to members of
the Steering Group in plenty of time for the meetings. Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher noted the
importance of using in-house magazines for disseminating information about the Voluntary
Initiative. He hoped that the Communications sub-group would use these channels. Ms
Drummond said that the LEAF farms could also be used as communication tools. Mr. Breach
noted the importance of merging publications on similar subjects from a range of organisations
under the Voluntary Initiative banner. Members requested Mr. Trow-Smith to decide how best
to achieve this.
Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher described the NET REGS system, which is an Environment Agency
initiative to house all information on regulatory matters on a single web-site. He said that
wherever possible the Voluntary Initiative should use this and link it to the VI web-site.
Mr. Morris said that the Code of Good Agricultural Practice is being revised in Scotland as both
summary and full versions. He added that it would be important for the Initiative to liaise with
this so that common messages could be prepared. The deadline for the final draft of the Code
is mid May. Mr. Goldsworthy and Mr. Kinnaird agreed to liaise on this matter in order to meet
the deadline.
Project 3 (IFM Awareness amongst farmers)
The Chairman enquired about progress with the survey. Mr. Garrod responded by saying that
this has been delayed within DEFRA but is due to be distributed next week. ADAS are the
contractors for this work and are due to submit their report to DEFRA in September. The
Chairman asked Mr. Garrod or Mr. Trow-Smith to provide a progress report for the next
Project 19 (Amenity Sector Applications)
The Chairman reported that he had attended the Workshop on the 15th March. This had been
very well attended and a summary of actions had been sent to all participants. Mr. Goldsworthy
invited any additional comments on the meeting to be sent to him.
3.10 Project 5 (Environmental Information Sheets)
Dr Croxford said that he had sent his comments to Mr. Watt but he was not certain what other
progress had been made. Members noted that they had received the guidance notes and
example EISs from Mr. Watt.
3.11 Project 18 (LERAP Awareness)
The Chairman enquired as to when the project plans are being revised. Mr. Goldsworthy
explained that this would be addressed when the interpretation of the results of the Farm
Application Practice Survey had been completed.
3.12 Project 23 (Packaging Life-Cycle Analysis)
This is an agenda item.
3.13 Projects 13 and 24
Dr Wise reported that in company with Dr Goodliffe, he will be visiting Northern Ireland at the
end of April.
3.14 Other Issues
Dr Croxford and Mr. Kinnaird asked the Secretary to produce an Action List indicating dates and
responsibilities for actions decided at the meetings.
Members asked the Secretary to indicate when the Voluntary Initiative web-site would be live.
He said that this was due to occur by the end of May but members requested that if possible
this should be accelerated.
Mr. Goldsworthy had circulated a report prior to the meeting. He provided a summary of
highlights: 4.1
He said that the EIS guidance document had been completed and CPA member
companies are now producing the first batch of Environment Information Sheets
Operator Roadshows – approximately 82 roadshows have been held during the winter
and the programme has now been completed. Any that could not be held this year will
be rolled-over to next season. He said that there will be a workshop to maximise
lessons from this year’s programme and to initiate the development of new training
Dr Croxford said that EA regional staff reported to him that there were certain key
messages at some of the roadshows, which could produce potential problems in some
areas. One of these concerned the positioning of sprayers away from hard standings
onto soft ground. He considered that messages should be adapted for local conditions.
Mr. Goldsworthy responded by saying that he will revise the tutors notes accordingly.
Mr. Brightman said that information from two of the R & D studies (biobeds and filling
areas) may require some regulatory input from the Environment Agency. Mr. Morris
responded by saying that a meeting would be taking place next week to consider this.
On the topic of local conditions, Mr. Breach said that in promoting generic best practice it
will important to consider local catchment issues. He added that GIS maps are available
to assist with this but the importance of local catchment vulnerability needs to be
stressed to operators at roadshows. Mr. Croxford said that the Environment Agency
web site has a facility for accessing information on groundwater risks for individual
Media Activity – Mr. Goldsworthy said that the adoption of the “Voluntary Initiative” name
would provide the opportunity to make better use of the media.
Sprayer Testing Syllabus – Mr. Goldsworthy said that good progress has been made in
the development of the syllabus.
Software – Mr. Goldsworthy said that a meeting had taken place with EMA and other
software providers to discuss computer based information provision and the construction
of crop protection management plans.
Amenity Workshop – He said that a report had already been circulated on this matter.
The Chairman said that following his report to the Minister in February, he received a letter from
him dated 26th March. The letter contained an element of faint praise but the Minister had
stressed the apparent lack of progress on incentivisation. The Minister was also concerned that
the appointment of a Biodiversity Officer had been delayed and he wanted to see more progress
on the production of Environmental Information sheets and the review of labeling. He asked the
chairman to stress to members the clear mandate of the group to deliver environmental
improvement. He was also concerned over problems relating to the execution of the initiative in
Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.
In response the Chairman said that better progress is now being made in most of these areas
and he certainly does not want the Steering Group to overlook the devolved administrations. He
expressed some surprise at the Minister’s comments in view of the high level of input from the
individuals representing these countries. In conclusion, he emphasised that the Steering Group
must drive the Voluntary Initiative forward.
Ms Bell enquired who saw his interim report before it was sent to the Minister. He said that he
wrote this, as an independent Chairman, and contained his overview of the Steering Group. At
his last meeting with the Minister he had suggested that the two interim reports (which would
proceed the budget and the pre-budget statement) should be supplemented by a more widely
circulated Annual Report. This will be sent to a wider audience but will require the Minister’s
permission. Before going to the Minister, it would be passed by the Steering Group for
comment. Mr. Garrod agreed with the analysis of the two “formal” reports and the need for a
more detailed annual report for wider circulation. The Chairman said that the Minister requires
more information about the use of resources but this would not be circulated more widely.
Dr Breach said that an Annual Report would have to highlight the environmental benefits being
delivered. It would have to focus on the fact that matters are being done differently to bring
about environmental change. Ms Drummond spoke about the co-ordination of Steering Group
activities with other initiatives taking place to bring about environmental change.
Mr. Croxford was concerned that an Annual Report might appear to be “propagandist” but the
Chairman responded that this could be addressed once a draft had been produced. Mr.
Gilliland said that it would be difficult to prove that tangible environmental change had occurred
by the time of the next report in advance of the pre-budget statement in November. Mr. Reed
agreed with this whilst stressing that the group has yet to establish the various baselines from
which the initiative has to move. He also shared some of Mr. Croxford’s concern about the
nature of the Annual Report. Mr. Brightman said that, at the very least, a six monthly press
release should be produced and this should be used to back-up the Annual Report. Sir Henry
Aubrey-Fletcher suggested that an A4 sized newsletter could be sent to members of the
signatory organisations in order to convince farmers of their ownership of the actions that are
It was agreed that the Secretary should ascertain the requirements for the Annual Report and
circulate a draft before the next meeting.
Mr. Goldsworthy outlined the methodology of the Farm Application Survey and the key results.
He said that a total of 402 holdings with arable crops had been visited and 374 postal returns
had been received. The sample had been stratified on the basis of region, farm size and
cropping pattern. Data had been collected on a total of 561 operators and 887 sprayers. The
data had been extrapolated to provide national estimates. He summarised the main findings as:
99% of the arable area is influenced by BASIS qualified staff
93% of the arable area is within an assurance scheme
56500 sprayer operators (excluding contractors) exist in the UK
There are approximately 53000 sprayers on UK farms
92% of the arable area uses conventional hydraulic sprayers
1% of the arable area is covered by AEA–tested sprayers
95% of the arable area is taking steps to protect watercourses when spraying
On the subject of operator training he said that 65% of operators are fully certificated, 13% are
“trained” and 22% operate under grandfather rights. There is little evidence of in-service
training as continuous professional development. He provided other data contained in his
summary report.
He outlined the provisional recommendations contained in the report and said that only a small
group is required to analyse the data. So far time has been limited and full analysis had not
been possible. He welcomed the input of others and stressed that these results would be used
to direct future activity. He provided a matrix of key activities and recurrent themes. He said
that the next step would be a consultation with Steering Group members, which should be
completed by 14 May. A workshop for Steering Group members and invitees would be held on
the 29th April. Following the workshop and consultation, the recommendations would be revised
in time for the next Steering Group meeting.
The chairman stressed the importance of keeping this work tightly controlled. Dr Croxford
emphasised the need to analyse the data in order to indicate where the maximum
environmental benefits could be obtained. The chairman said, if possible, all comments should
be sent to Mr. Goldsworthy by the 7th May.
The Chairman stressed that there should be no media activity until the revised report had been
produced and the meeting held on 29 May. Mr. Brightman said that there is a need to
continually question the concept of current best practice. Following discussion the Chairman
said that careful interpretation of the results needs to occur before they are made public. No
data should be released until all potential issues have been resolved.
Mr. Dyer summarised the situation by saying that the commitment proposed to Government had
been to enhance the CPA obligations under the Foresight programme. The key elements are to
decide priority research areas, run workshops and to make any resulting information available to
the UK research pool. As a result the CPA will now identify long-term research needs, organise
the workshops and arrange for additional research through the SAPPIO research programme.
He said that at least two workshops would be organised during the year and that the CPA was
the main sponsor of the BCPC Biodiversity Workshop held in January 2002. He added that Ms
Edney will be running a more focussed biodiversity workshop during the autumn. The output of
each workshop will be condensed into key recommendations. This information will be sent to
the UK knowledge pool and placed on the CPA web-site.
In the short-term, environmental outputs are probably limited but improvements will be seen in
the medium to long-term. The information gained will facilitate the debate and enable limited
resources to be targeted better. He suggested that the Steering Group should review this
project on an annual basis.
Mr. Dyer said that the CPA has been involved with SAPPIO LINK since its inception in 1997.
Between 1997 and 2001 preliminary figures suggested that approximately 20% of SAPPIO
funding had come from CPA members. Of the 25 projects undertaken in this period, CPA
companies had been involved in 15. In the Voluntary Initiative the CPA committed to taking a
more co-ordinated role and to increasing the overall contribution. There was also a commitment
to ensure that projects had an environmental focus.
He said that long term research needs have been identified and, during the past six months, he
had been putting a process into place which would increase the facilitation/co-ordination of
research within the Association. An R & D expert group has now been formed within the CPA.
He said that at the last meeting it had been promised that financial input figures would be
available for the three elements already committed to in the Initiative. These values are as
4b Weed Management Support Systems £ (to be agreed)
4c Spray Behaviour at Low Volumes £221k
4d Sustainable Arable Farming ……. £649k
Mr. Dyer said that many of the benefits of this work would accrue in the medium/long term. He
suggested that the Steering Group should review overall progress annually but he could supply
individual project reports during the year, if required. Mr. Breach commented that elements of
technology should be transferred as soon as they become available. Mr. Tipples, as Chairman
of SAFFIE, said that much information would be available from this work after Year 3 and this
would be made available at the earliest opportunity. Mr. Brightman added that SAPPIO LINK
may change its name in the near future.
He reported that the projects are on-plan. The Chairman agreed that the projects would be
reviewed annually.
Mr. Dyer outlined the scope of the project by saying that there were three inter-related elements.
The intention is to place a contract to determine how much old product exists on farms. He said
that there is much to be done in planning the project and that a questionnaire will be sent to
each member of the Steering Group to assist in the design of the project.
Mr. Kinnaird stressed the importance of discovering exactly how much “old” product exists on
farms. Members of Assured Schemes are prohibited from having such products in their stores.
Mr. Dyer said that CPA agronomists report that a relatively large amount of this type of material
remains. Ms Drummond agreed with this statement and said that it would be prudent to utilise
information gained from the previous retrieval scheme. Mr. Tipples replied that information on
this subject had been obtained from Assurance Scheme farms and he offered to make this
available. He was of the opinion that the total amount was relatively low and tended to be farms
that were not members of Assurance Schemes. Mr. Buffin was concerned that there was also
an issue with “old” products from outside of the agricultural sector. Mr. Dyer said that he was
aware of these and would consider them in the planning process. Mr. Reed stressed that the
European review will have significant impact and that it could be important to delay the project
as a result. Mr. Breach stressed the importance of a continuing process rather than a “one-off”
amnesty. He described the potential problem that some farmers might anticipate schemes by
disposing of old material on to the land and thus causing environmental problems.
Mr. Dyer said that the purpose of this project was to compare on-farm incineration with
collection recovery systems. Early discussions with the Environment Agency indicated that
reusable containers will also be included in the project. He explained the concept of life-cycle
analysis, which is a quantitative technique to examine the environmental effects of a product
across its life cycle. In order to complete a LCA work is required to: 
Define the life-cycle of the product
Collect data
Define how the results will be expressed
Have access to expertise and software
Be able to interpret the results
The aim of the project is to collect factual information about the disposal and re-use of
packaging. This will be important because the Government have agreed to form a waste
stakeholder forum that requires such information and also because this work supports other
projects within the initiative. It will also indicate areas for improvement in current practices.
He reported that the project is on-plan and will report by the 1st May. The Chairman asked him
to supply summary reports for consideration at the next meeting of the Steering Group on the
28th May.
Dr Croxford enquired whether data is available on dioxin emissions from the CPA incinerator.
Mr. Dyer agreed to send a copy of the scientific report to Dr Croxford. Mr. Jones asked about
pesticide residues in the ash from the incinerator. The Chairman stressed the need for an
overall review of the subject before getting into detail.
Mr. Watt provided background information to the project. He said that the crop protection
industry is encouraging PSD to complete their review of label information. At the same time, it
was hoped that parallel initiatives, for example the PSD/HSE study and the CHIP 3 regulations
could be included. He added that the overall objective is to increase the clarity of information
appearing on the labels and hence to improve environmental protection by better compliance
from operators. He said that two meetings have been held with PSD and HSE to discuss
potential changes and the CPA has consulted on the report “effectiveness of labeling of
pesticides” and comments have been submitted as appropriate. He added that the next steps
would be a meeting of the CPA project team at the end of April and the production of a briefing
document for CPA member companies. He hoped that the PSD would be able to complete the
best practice labeling document as soon as possible.
Mr. Tipples said that three years ago he served as a member of small group examining both
container design and labeling. He expressed the view that many of the recommendations from
the current study would probably overlap with the previous one. The Chairman asked why
delays appear to have been caused by PSD and why the project group has only held two
meetings during the past year. Mr. Watt responded by saying that despite his representations
little has been done to rectify the difficulties at PSD.
Mr. Kinnaird stressed the importance of having “new style” labels as soon as possible. He
enquired when the industry can expect to see labels in the new format. Mr. Watt responded by
saying that this was unlikely to occur before 2003. Mr. Kinnaird added that benefits from the
improved labeling would therefore not be seen before 2004 and that this could be too late in
terms of the Voluntary Initiative agreement.
Mr. Brightman pointed out a potential error concerning delivery dates in the report tabled before
the meeting. Mr. Williams was surprised that his colleagues in PSD had indicated that the
report was imminent. He agreed to take action to accelerate progress with the project.
Mr. Watt outlined the background to the project by explaining that the model for the work was
that contained in the Water Framework Directive. He said the three main objectives were to
establish a water sub-group, devise and implement strategies at local catchment levels and
adopt a robust water indicator. He said that the Water Sub-Group has now met twice and has
representation from all stakeholder organisations. He added that the seven catchments for the
pilot study had been agreed and local management teams recruited. Each of the management
teams has a local farmer champion. It has been proposed that there is a national manager for
this project who will act as an interface between the Steering Group and the local teams. The
appointment of this manager is imminent. He said that management tools have been proposed
and the catchment characterisation has been completed. He provided details of the catchment
characterisation and said that additional finances had been committed by the Water industry.
The next meeting of the Water Sub Group is on the 10th April and will confirm the role of the
national project manager. The meeting will also focus on the development of a water indicator.
The Chairman invited a progress report for the next meeting.
Mr. Breach thanked Mr. Watt for his comprehensive overview of the project but noted that
progress has been slow. He said that the overall problem has been an amalgam of other larger
problems. He emphasised that this project has great potential to deliver what the Minister is
seeking and he believes that clear targets must be set to reduce the environmental impacts. He
stressed the need to accelerate progress with clear objectives and targets.
Mr. Morris noted that there were no catchments in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales and
this conflicts with the views expressed by the Minister. Mr. Breach said that he had contacted
colleagues in the devolved administrations but that no such catchments had been forthcoming.
He agreed to reconsider the issue at tomorrow’s meeting. Mr. Jones believed that a catchment
from Wales should be included and suggested the Cleddau catchment. He suggested that Mr.
Breach should consult with others outside of the water industry. Mr. Jones suggested that
contact should be made with the Welsh Assembly.
Mr. McKee said that in Northern Ireland the RSPB have conducted a study within the Erne
catchment. He wondered whether findings from this study could be included in the present one.
Mr. Breach said that he was sympathetic to these views but underlined the problems of finding
catchments that meet the project criteria.
Dr Armstrong-Brown asked about the added value considerations such as biodiversity in
terrestrial habitats and whether these had been included in the project. Mr. Brightman said that
it was already apparent that there were difficulties in discovering who was actually farming land
within the two largest catchments. Mr. Breach stressed the synergies that exist between
aquatic and terrestrial systems. Mr. Morgan from English Nature enquired about whether the
target of 50% reduction in surface water contamination that had been given in the original
document should be used. Mr. Breach said that this had not yet been agreed and targets would
be set on a catchment-by-catchment basis.
The Chairman stressed that project 10 is important partly because the Minister is focussing on it
and partly because results can be gained rapidly. He emphasised the need to regain the lost
time and considered that it should be reviewed at every meeting so that the Minister can be kept
Mr. Reed explained that although he is reporting, Derek Ward is the project manager. He said
that it is not clear whether the infrequent user has a major impact on environmental concerns.
Some take the view that infrequent users receive less training and that this indicates the
potential for environmental damage. However, not all infrequent users have land that is
cropped and even if they do, they probably make less applications than within more intensive
systems. He said that there appears to be a massive communication issue but so far this
cannot be quantified. If this issue is confirmed, novel communication routes may have to be
used to contact this group. This group of users has probably suffered most from the removal of
a state extension service than any other group of users. He said that this appeared to be less of
a problem in Scotland because of the continuing strength of SAC. Generally speaking,
infrequent users have little contact with agronomists and tend to purchase smaller amounts of
product that they then use fairly rapidly. The survey of infrequent users is a method of obtaining
more qualitative information. He outlined some of the preliminary results from the study, which
he said would fill some of the gaps from the CSL Farm Application Survey.
He reported that work is now starting on the production of the report and that this is on
schedule. He stressed that the production of guidance information (from the study) may be a
more difficult task and announced that David Buffin is now a member of the project group.
He said that the National Dairy Event in September would be a good route for passing key
messages to “infrequent” users. He also enquired whether the 2002/2003 ‘roadshow’
programme could be used for the same purpose. The chairman asked whether a plan of action
could be produced.
In answer to a question, Mr. Reed said that the results from the survey would not be available
before the 29th April. Mr. Tipples enquired whether growers surveyed were asked whether they
were members of an Assurance Scheme. Mr. Reed responded by saying that most were
members of FABBL but Mr. Tipples pointed out that assurance with FABBL does not involve
pesticide issues.
Mr. Kinnaird said that Assurance Schemes relating to the production of livestock feedstuffs
should include similar environmental requirements to the more specialised arable schemes. He
also wondered whether key messages could be given to infrequent users at the point of sale.
Mr. Croxford said that the Environment Agency had used both the Maize Growers Association
and the British Grassland Society to reach this type of grower.
Ms Hewitt thanked members for their comments on the Code of Practice. She said that the
project had been delayed by a lack of response from PSD, however, she hoped to have their
comments by early May so that the Code could then be published. Publication in late May or
early June would allow the Code to be launched to contractors and growers in time for this
year’s applications.
Mr. Williams agreed to investigate the apparent delays caused by his agency. Dr Croxford
wondered whether this was a result of a paper being prepared for the ACP.
Mr. Goldsworthy outlined and explained the establishment of an auditing process for Crop
Protection Association member companies. He outlined the two systems being used for
manufacturers and distributor companies. He said that the next steps would be for a summary
report of the audit to be agreed by the CPA Executive Committee and for this to be supplied to
the Steering Group. The auditing cycle for 2002 would then begin.
In answer to a question, he explained that each CPA member company is audited every third
year, however, if there are problems with the audit they are visited more frequently.
Ms Edney explained that environmental training for agronomists has now been incorporated into
project 11 with the consequence that project 20 will require a new focus. She requested an
additional month in which to investigate options so that she would be able to develop a new
project plan. The Chairman asked about the feasibility of dividing project 11 into two distinct
halves. Ms Armstrong-Brown wondered whether the apparent spare capacity could be used to
enhance the initiative. Ms Edney said that there were two possibilities that could be examined,
the first would be a support project aimed at targeting farmers who have not undertaken
conservation measures. The alternative would be to investigate new ways in which agronomists
can encourage the creation of conservation headlands and wetland areas.
The Chairman asked Ms Edney to provide more detail for the next meeting.
Ms Edney explained the background to the biodiversity network that she had recently created.
She said that key achievements will be the forthcoming focus meetings for CPA member
company representatives and a biodiversity seminar, organised jointly with the RSPB that will
take place in early July. She added that she has also been using the CPA publication,
Grapevine to communicate messages with member companies and others.
She provided a short presentation on the biodiversity strategy plan. This provides a framework
for all CPA member companies setting out the CPA role within the UK BAPS. It also gives
guidance on how biodiversity issues can be integrated into the work of the Association.
Dr Armstrong-Brown enquired whether the biodiversity strategy plan related solely to the BAP
species. Ms Edney replied that this has not yet been agreed. Dr Armstrong-Brown then asked
how the CPA intended to get a firm commitment from its member companies. The Chairman
stressed the importance of launching the biodiversity strategy plan within the year. Mr. Jones
stressed the importance of involving the devolved administrations so that linkages could be
made with other biodiversity action plans in each of the four nations of the UK. Mr. Brightman
expressed some concern about the linkages of this project to the production of the crop
protection management plans (pillar 2) and asked that she maintain close liaison with Dr. Wise.
The Chairman asked Ms Edney to present an interim report to the September meeting of the
Steering Group.
Mr. Goldsworthy explained the background and objectives for this project. He said that currently
approximately 2700 advisors are on the BASIS Professional Register and these are the ones
whose work is connected to crop protection products. He explained the concept of continuing
professional development and the methods by which CPD points are awarded. He said that the
BASIS Professional Matters Committee has designed a new points system that will start in June
2002. CPA members will be required to supply returns to BASIS by July.
He said the project is a key structural one and is now virtually complete. As a consequence
there will have to be some changes in various training syllabi. These changes will need to be
communicated to the whole industry. He agreed to submit an annual report to the Steering
Dr Armstrong-Brown asked whether AICC members are involved. Mr. Goldsworthy responded
by saying that the AICC are represented on the BASIS Professional Matters Committee.
The Chairman noted that a draft agenda for the next meeting had been circulated. Although this
is relatively full he said that some matters from the present meeting would be carried over. He
asked the Secretary to revise the agenda and distribute it to members.
It was agreed that the meetings for 2002 would be as follows:
Tuesday 28th May
Wednesday 4th September
Wednesday 4th December
There was some discussion as to whether an additional meeting was required in the summer
but a decision was deferred until the next meeting.
Ms Drummond enquired whether there are plans to produce information concerning the
Voluntary Initiative that can be distributed at agricultural shows during the summer. She
suggested that a small “flyer” with the logo and web site address could encourage discussion
amongst farmers. Mr. Vowles replied that this was a matter for the Communications sub-group
but noted that there is limited time available to produce this literature for this summer show
season. The chairman asked Dr Buckenham to inform Mr. Trow-Smith.
The meeting finished at 16.35
M J Savage
25 April 2002