With or without fruit salad?

We’re not the only ones who want to eat our food; we compete with an intimidating list of insect pests, fungi, and bacteria that are looking for a free lunch, and a host of plant species that occupy our fields as weeds.

Crops lose the fight with pests and diseases every day. In fact, the FAO estimates that on average 26% to 40% of crop yields are lost annually due to weeds, pests and disease, going as far to say that if we remove crop protection practices, the losses could double. Double!

Farmers put up a good fight every day to secure a safe and plentiful supply of food.

Consider these facts:

APPLES. Fruit pests cause significant damage to apple production. There are some biological solutions for a few of the pests that like apples, but most of them are managed with insecticides, without which yields are expected to decrease by up to 60%.1

GRAPES. For winemakers, grapevine diseases can be devastating. Bacteria and fungi cause the most common grapevine diseases. Insects can also spread disease and damage roots. Environmental conditions can trigger fungal development that wreaks havoc in vineyards. Did you know that Italian growers face up to 30% lower yields if they don’t have access to important pesticides.2

BLACKCURRANTS. The mite is enemy #1 of blackcurrant shrubs in Europe; the plants are susceptible to various diseases. In Poland, experts have estimated that if farmers no longer had access to certain pesticides, blackcurrant yields could decrease by 20%.3

PEARS. While Europe is one of the world’s leading producers of pears, the crop attracts its fair share of pests and disease, battling everything from aphids to mites, to scale and mildew. If EU farmers no longer had access to certain pesticides, pear yields could decrease by 65%.4


1 Steward Redqueen. Cumulative impact of hazard-based legislation on crop protection products in Europe. Final report. 21 July 2016, p.7.
2 Steward Redqueen. Cumulative impact of hazard-based legislation on crop protection products in Europe. Final report. 21 July 2016, p.6.
3 Steward Redqueen. Cumulative impact of hazard-based legislation on crop protection products in Europe. Final report. 21 July 2016, p.48.
4 Steward Redqueen. Cumulative impact of hazard-based legislation on crop protection products in Europe. Final report. 21 July 2016, p.7.