Sustainable products assured by ag association - Agcarm
By Mark Ross
With multiple companies offering disease and pest management solutions, farmers can be guaranteed that products purchased from an Agcarm member are safe, sustainable and of high quality. Agcarm is a not-for-profit trade association, representing over 60 companies that manufacture, distribute, research and sell projects to keep animals healthy and crops thriving.
For over 70 years, Agcarm has taken a lead role in managing issues of importance to the crop protection and animal medicines industries. This involves engaging with politicians, regulators and stakeholders to ensure that decision-makers take account of industry’s views. It also ensures that industry aligns itself with best practice in the management of pests and disease. Our members research the safest and best methods to do this. In the crop protection industry, our manufacturers support the use of Integrated Pest Management (using all means available to tackle pests and disease). They research all means of control, including biologicals, to ensure the best and most sustainable result for farmers and growers.
Membership to the association is voluntary, with all applicants requiring Board endorsement before being accepted. Agcarm backs this by ensuring all members comply with a Code of Conduct.
This Code certifies that Agcarm members meet industry standards. Compliance with it is a condition of membership - with companies required to meet a number of obligations. This includes complying with relevant legislation, participating in environmental stewardship programmes, acting ethically in product promotion and in accordance with the best interests of industry.
Protecting the environment is integral to this, with support and participation of the rural recycling programme Agrecovery being compulsory for members. Companies must also ensure that their products meet an appropriate standard, all people involved with industry products are appropriately trained, and that they are supportive of ensuring environmental sustainability.
In promoting a healthy environment, Agcarm is involved in a number of other stewardship campaigns, within the crop protection and the animal medicines industries.
Bee health is high on the association’s agenda with regular campaigning to protect the wellbeing of New Zealand’s bee population, and ensuring that products are used responsibly. The ‘Bee Responsible’ awareness campaigns were produced in conjunction with the Rural Contractors and Agricultural Aviators associations to raise awareness of the importance of protecting bees and providing guidance for doing so.
Preventing resistance management in animals and plants is another priority for the association and its members. As part of this, Agcarm leads and supports programmes that prolong the effectiveness of crop protection and animal health products liable to encounter resistance problems, and limit losses should resistance appear. This includes an integral role in the Wormwise Trust - providing expert advice to farmers on managing worms on farms (anthelmintic resistance) as well as antimicrobial resistance. Agcarm contributed to New Zealand’s Antimicrobial Resistance Plan which was submitted to the World Health Organisation in May 2017.
The association’s ultimate purpose is to ensure that New Zealand continues to lead the world in producing safe, healthy and sustainable food by using the best and safest technology. By dealing with an Agcarm member you too will be part of this worthy goal. So, next time you are considering a purchase of a pesticide or animal medicine, ask if the company is an Agcarm member and if they are you can be assured that you are dealing with knowledgeable staff and a quality product.
• Mark Ross is chief executive of Agcarm, the industry association for companies which manufacture and distribute crop protection and animal health products.