- Soil Association
- Causes & Campaigns
- Reducing pesticides
- The Solution
What are the solutions to using pesticides?
More Needs to be Done
The government knows it must act on pesticides and with Brexit and the Agriculture bill at the forefront of politician’s minds, influencing its decisions has never been more important.
We need to pile on the pressure to make the Government prioritise actions that benefit nature and the planet.
There’s a serious risk that new laws will be too weak to make a real difference to our wildlife.
How can farmers make a difference
As with most scenarios, those closest to the problem often have the solutions. And reducing our dependence of pesticides is no different.
Farmers can make an immediate and lasting difference to our environment and health by taking an agroecological approach to the way they farm.
This system of farming seeks to understand the relationship and balance that exists between us and nature – and use this understanding in day-to-day practices. This method can not only feed the population without relying on pesticides, but also tackles the growing issues of climate impacts and wildlife decline. A good example of agroecology is agroforestry.
Moreover, thousands of organic farmers show you can already farm profitably without pesticides.
Through Innovative Farmers, part of the Duchy Future Farming Programme, we are helping them and other farmers find even better ways of doing this.
This isn't simply about substituting other tools, like biological controls; it is also about developing more diverse farming systems, for example bringing different crops and even trees into farms.
How you can make a difference
- Donate to the Soil Association and help us in the fight against pesticides
- Tell your MP how concerned you are with the current use of pesticides in the UK
- Look for the logo. Soil Association-certified foods are produced in a nature-friendly way that's better for wildlife. Buying products we’ve certified helps allow bees, birds and beetles to thrive
- Plant wildflowers. Do you have a garden? A window box? Plant flowers that are pollinator favourites, and help our bees and butterflies make a comeback after the neonics ban. Ask at your garden centre for seeds that haven’t been pre-treated, and avoid using pesticides for pest control in your garden.
- Don’t use glyphosate at home - say ‘no’ to glyphosate-containing products like Roundup when caring for your garden.
- Ask your council - speak to your local council to stop using glyphosate and other pesticides to control weeds.
Become a Wildlife Warrior
You can support the Soil Association in the quest for a pesticide-free future by becoming a wildlife warrior. As a Wildlife Warrior, you’ll be campaigning for wildlife-friendly farming – farming that nurtures our birds and bees, working in harmony with nature.
Why Support Us?
1. To influence government decisions on pesticide use on UK farms
- A fundamental shift is required in farming systems to move away from pesticides and towards systems like agroforestry and organic.
- We have proof that it it possible to produce enough good quality food without synthetic pesticides.
- We want to ensure that single bans on neonicotinoids and glyphosate, are not seen as having solved the problem, but rather a step towards pesticide-free farming.
2. To Influence policymakers to make a system-wide change at the scale needed
- Help us make the case for stronger support for organic farming to be at the heart of new farm support policies - as one way to cut pesticide use dramatically.
- Campaign for robust pesticide controls outside the EU and countering the lobbying of agrichemical companies
- Help to change regulation - pushing for stronger pesticide approval process.
- Oppose trade deals that could weaken standards of protection against toxic pesticides.
3. To help change things on the ground
- Help to change the government's school fruit and veg scheme - currently shown to contain more pesticides than supermarket fruit and veg.
- Helping make possible the practical work we do to help all farmers adopt non-chemical methods of pest and weed control.
Together, we can protect the millions of bees, butterflies, birds, and animals at risk of disappearing from our fields and hedgerows forever.