Category: News
Date published: March 21, 2024

Biocontrol in agriculture: a strategy for chemical residue-free growing

Biological crop protection, or biocontrol, is a natural and sustainable approach to managing pests and diseases in agriculture. Instead of relying on synthetic chemicals, beneficial insects such as predatory insects, parasitic wasps, predatory mites, beneficial nematodes and beneficial microorganisms are used as crop protection methods. One significant advantage of biocontrol is the absence of chemical residues in agricultural produce, presenting a host of benefits for growers, supply chains, and consumers alike.

Access to export markets 

Growers worldwide are seeking access to export markets to increase their economic sustainability. During the past thirty years, world citrus exports have grown with more than 120%, whereas fruit & vegetable exports have seen a growth of 280%. These markets often enforce stringent guidelines known as Minimum Residue Levels (MRLs) concerning the presence of chemical residues in agricultural goods. Many countries and trading partners are becoming increasingly strict in regulating the quality of imported agricultural products. The absence of chemical residues in crops cultivated through biocontrol methods provides a clear advantage for growers, enabling them to meet the high standards set by various countries.

Meeting the increasing demands of the supply chain

The global supply chain, particularly in the food industry, has undergone a significant transformation. Supermarkets and other retailers are increasingly demanding agricultural products that adhere to high quality and safety standards. Chemical residue-free produce is at the forefront of these requirements and biocontrol methods help growers to position themselves as preferred suppliers for supermarkets and other supply chain stakeholders.

Aligning with consumer preferences 

Consumer preferences are changing to an increased focus on health, sustainability, and environmental consciousness. Studies show that products promoted as sustainable had a 17% market share in 2022, which was a 3,3% increase from 2015. In addition, 65% of consumers list sustainability as an influencing factor in their spending choices. Biocontrol methods resonate with these preferences, as they offer an alternative to chemical-intensive growing practices that may leave behind harmful residues in the produce.

Ultimately biocontrol offers you the control you need to access export markets, meet supply chain demands and reach target customers. Maximum access with minimum chemical residue, that is what it means to be In control with Koppert.