FRESNO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Aligning the biocontrol industry on a global scale was the goal of the first-ever meeting of the International Biocontrol Federation in Fresno, Calif. March 2-3.
The symposium drew 121 industry representatives from the US and around the world and was cast by a group of international biocontrol trade associations to share common vision, opportunities and challenges and to develop action plans to get its message onto the international stage.
“We wanted the theme of our first meeting to be action,” said Rick Melnick, board chairman of the US-based Biological Industry Alliance and Global Brand Manager for Valent BioSciences Corporation. “We wanted to leave this meeting having discussed all of the major issues put forth by our members. We can’t solve everything, but what we can do is prioritize and act in those areas where we can make the most impact.”
The biocontrol industry, which develops, manufactures and distributes biological products for pest control, public health, forestry and crop productivity, promotes awareness on the usefulness of their technologies to growers and other consumers of biocontrols. The attending organizations also act as liaisons for several private, governmental and non-governmental groups.
Eda Reinot, BPIA board vice-chairman and Director R&D Seed Solutions, Americas, Functional Crop Care, BASF, said that the benefits of the Federation extend into areas where limited resources can be optimized and expertise can be leveraged. “Combined as a global industry we have an incredible team of experts,” Reinot said. “Together we are allies in communicating the proven benefits associated with biocontrols to assist regulators, policy makers, and private groups seeking to learn more about these technologies. We are proud of this.”
David Cary, executive director of the International Biocontrol Manufactures Association (IBMA), ended the day’s proceedings by summarizing take-away action items for each of the sessions. Cary’s summary included:
- Focusing on the “positives”
- Standby statements for key issues
- Improved communication with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other IGOs and NGOs.
- Harmonization efforts on a global scale including a harmonized organic certification program and harmonized data requirements for regulatory submissions.
Lynn LeBeck, executive director of the Association of Natural Biocontrol Producers (ANBP), said its board and membership were also pleased to be represented in the Federation. “There are a number of subjects that we agree on,” she said. “It’s nice that we can stand with a united voice on many of these vital issues.”
Melnick and the BPIA board believe that interaction with other organizations can only promote understanding of biocontrols.
“Each of our groups has become a resource to assist other organizations who need access to biological technologies and services including new technologies, research and supply capacity, and the international regulatory and commercialization processes,” he said. “Combine that collective knowledge it adds to our overall potential.”
After the meeting, Cary told reporters, “Now we have set down key issues facing the global biocontrol industry and the discussions will continue at our October meeting in Basel (Switzerland). Our goal is action by that time.”
BPIA is the non-profit US-based alliance of biological manufacturers and allied industry committed to raising awareness on the benefits associated with use of biologicals in agriculture, public health, forestry, and specialty markets. The organization includes basic manufacturers, distributors, and technology and service providers operating in biological markets. To learn more about BPIA, visit www.biologicalindustryalliance.org.
IBMA is the European focused association of biocontrol manufacturers, producing solutions: microorganisms, macroorganisms, semiochemicals and natural and biochemical products for plant protection. Based on long years of intensive research and development, the “Biocontrol industry” is now growing fast and can offer safe and cost- effective solutions to the farmer and grower. IBMA was created in 1995 to represent the views of the developing biological control manufacturers. The association has a diverse membership from large multi-national companies through to many SME producers often with limited resources. It also represents research organisations, extension services, consultants and distributors also contributing to the development of biocontrol and participating in IBMA activities. To learn more about IBMA, visit www.ibma-global.org.
ANBP is the Association of Natural Biocontrol Producers, a professional, non-profit association representing the biological pest management industry. Augmentative biological control utilizes beneficial insects, mites and nematodes to manage plant and animal pests in agriculture. ANBP membership includes producers, distributors, and users of natural enemies, as well as allied industry supporters, university and government researchers, extension agents and regulators. www.anbp.org
Biological Industry Alliance
Rick Melnick, 847-968-4750