Speaker line-up for the BCPC Congress

The 2019 BCPC Congress will encompass a wide range of topics relevant to the theme of how intensification of food production can be reconciled with environmental protection or enhancement, whatever the UK’s future relationship is with the EU. The science and technology relating to the national debate on how to support UK farming and food production whilst meeting the highest environmental standards will be explored in a series of sessions.

The Congress will seek to unearth some of the reality behind the UK Government’s agricultural policy framework in which farmers will be paid to deliver ‘public goods’ such as improved soil health, air and water quality. The Congress will also provide a platform for recent developments in crop protection, with a focus on dissemination of these to advisers and practitioners.

Day One will start with a plenary session, led by Julie Girling (past MEP) reflecting on her 10 years’ experience as MEP for South West of England and Gibraltar, including her service on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee and Agriculture Committee in Europe as one of the few supportive of commercial farming. She has recently become Senior Advisor to Burson, Cohn and Wolfe, a PA and Communications agency in Brussels.

Following on from this will be sessions on developing sustainable plant health solutions and plant genetic technologies. Speakers will include, Robert Shearsby, (Agricultural Industries Confederation). AIC is a trade association for members of the agri-supply chain, which pulls together the crop protection, animal feed, fertiliser, arable and seed sectors and ensures their collective voice is heard in Government. Guy Smith, (Deputy President, NFU) farms a mixed and diversified farm in Essex. He has served on the NFU Council as a member of the Governance Board and as Chair of the NFU Communications Group. He will be considering that it is now time for a new approach to develop sustainable plant health solutions in the UK. The morning session will conclude with Dr Tina Barsby OBE (NIAB) looking at opportunities and problems for plant genetic technologies for a Green Brexit. Tina is CEO of NIAB which this year celebrates its centenary. A plant geneticist with significant experience in the agricultural crop sector, Tina is committed to the translation of plant science into products and services of value to industry and society.

The Regulatory Affairs session, in the afternoon, will appeal to stakeholders interested in a regulatory affairs update and issues relating to data protection and endocrine disruption. Dr Martyn Griffiths (Bayer CropScience) will cover the transparency of regulatory information and how industry input is vital in the management of key challenges in the revised General Food Law. Whilst Mike Carroll (TSG Consulting) will be asking where do we go from here with GLP, Trade Secrets and Regulatory Transparency?

The second day starts with a look at the global impact of food production, Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and input management and delivering IPM and precision agriculture (including delivering appropriate regulation). 

Professor Rhys Green, (University of Cambridge) is a conservation scientist researching on the conservation of wild species and how the impacts of farming, pollution and climate change can be reduced. In his session he will be looking at minimising the global environmental impact of food production. Following on Nick Poole, (Foundation for Arable Research) from Australia will be looking at input management. FAR is an applied research and extension organisation serving the cropping industry. Nick has led national research projects and has particular interest in farming systems research, cereal disease management and challenging the boundaries of wheat productivity worldwide. Martin Grantley-Smith, (AHDB) who has directed the strategy for AHDB Cereals and Oilseeds to shape priorities, will give a strategic insight into IPM.

Day Two will see the welcome return of CRD (Chemicals Regulation Division), who will engage in a workshop format with delegates, to look at how the UK will manage crop protection technologies in future, with particular emphasis on precision agriculture.

The Congress rounds off with an afternoon session providing opinion and strategy for the better use of agrochemicals. Speakers include Professor Lin Field (Rothamsted Research), Head of Biointeractions and Crop Protection. Her work focuses on insecticide mode of action and resistance at the biochemical/molecular level and uses genomic techniques to understand resistance and insecticide selectivity. She will be considering how insecticides can be best used in better pest control strategies.  Finally, Paul Temple (Chairman, The Voluntary Initiative), who farms in East Yorkshire, will focus on Integrated Pest Management and farm assurance schemes.

Delegates attending the BCPC Congress are invited to join the drinks reception, hosted by TSG Consulting, on Monday 18 November at the Hilton Metropole, Brighton. Pre-booking is required when registering.

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19-20 November 2019
Hilton Brighton Metropole, Brighton, UK

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