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The SPRINT team were recently lucky enough to visit the Saint Emilion region of Bordeaux, France, where we learnt about how winegrowers here are prioritising the environment through mandatory certification.

Since February 2023, growers who wish to use the reputable ‘Saint Emilion’ name on their wine have to take part in a certification process which proves that they are meeting certain environmental standards. This system is tiered, with growers able to pick which accreditations they would like to follow. Once they either reach level 2 or become fully organic, they are then able to use the prestigious name, thus making their wine more attractive to customers.

In addition, there are 6 pillars involved in the Saint-Emilion environmental approach, each of which affect, or are affected by, pesticides:

  1. Soil biodiversity
  2. Biocontrol
  3. Living landscapes
  4. Water use and quality
  5. Climate change
  6. Human intervention

Read more about the vines of Saint-Emilion here.

EFSA Glyphosate

Glyphosate’s approval for use in the EU is set to expire at the end of the year. EFSA has conducted a review of an assessment by four member states – France, Hungary, the Netherlands and Sweden - of the risks proposed by 23 uses of glyphosate.  They found no health or environmental concerns that affects “all proposed uses of the active substance” and concluded that glyphosate presents ‘no critical area of concern’ that would prevent renewing its approval. A concern is defined as critical when it affects all proposed uses of the active substance under evaluation (e.g. pre-sowing uses, post-harvest uses etc.),

However, the review did identify “a high long-term risk to mammals” in 12 of the proposed uses of glyphosate, but was not able to draw “firm conclusions” on the potential impact on biodiversity, citing a “lack of harmonised methodologies and agreed specific protection goals”.  It also identified a number of data gaps in the assessment of consumer dietary risk and the impact on aquatic plants due to a lack of information on how they are exposed to glyphosate from spray drift.  These data gaps are to be considered by the European Commission and Member States in the next stage of the renewal of approval process.

The full assessment document will be published at the end of July 2023.  The summary findings can be found here.

IPM 2

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an ecosystems-based approach to managing pests. It emphasises reducing the negative impacts of pest management on agro-ecosystems, through using natural pest control (such as supporting a healthy ladybird population, which helps control aphids), improving crop resilience, and minimising the use of pesticides.

Over recent years, the term has been adopted by a broad range of agricultural stakeholders, all supporting its principles. But what actually is IPM, where did it come from, and what is its significance for the SPRINT project?

Click here to find out more. 

Hot on the heels of a batch of recently published work from SPRINT, we have our 5th newsletter out now. We have an exciting period ahead with our first results emerging, so subscribe by signing up to project news on the homepage to get new editions in your inbox and make sure you don't miss a thing. 

Sprint newsletter 5 release

In consultation with our partners in France, we will host the 2023 meeting in Bordeaux! For everyone involved in SPRINT as a consortium member: Save the date: 4-8 Sept. 2023! 

Save the date 4th plenary