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New Chair for voluntary responsible plant protection products initiative in Scotlands.

By David Porter

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Angus-based Amy Geddes is to take over the chair of a valuable industry-led initiative in Scotland that promotes the responsible use of plant protection products through Integrated Pest Management (IPM).

Amy Geddes
Amy Geddes

Amy is a fourth-generation farmer at Wester Braikie Farms near Arbroath.

In partnership with her parents, they farm 320 hectares (ha) of seed potatoes, spring barley, winter oilseed rape, wheat and vining peas.

Amy joined the Board at Scottish Agronomy in 2022 and is currently co-vice chair of NFUS Combinable Crops committee.

She is a supporter and keen volunteer for the Royal Highland Education Trust and enjoys hosting visitors on farm to learn about food and farming and the countryside.

As well as representing NFUS at the UK level strategy group, Amy will lead on the Voluntary Initiative (VI) in Scotland, representing Scottish interests at the UK Voluntary Initiative – a body which encourages the responsible use of plant protection products (PPPs), also known as pesticides, to help ensure that every farmer and grower places IPM at the heart of decision making on farm.

Commenting on her appointment, Amy said: “I am looking forward to continuing and building on the work by the Scottish VI and retiring chair Dave Bell.

"Through the Scottish VI, we will continue to promote best practice, grow awareness of IPM and strengthen relationships across the industry and partners.”

The Scottish VI works to reduce the risks of pesticide pollution and to mitigate diffuse pollution risks; works with landowners to protect and increase habitats for pollinators, including bees and farmland birds, and continues to promote best practice and the responsible use of pesticides through different accreditation schemes, training, and practical tools to protect water and the wider environment.

Amy’s appointment also comes with the news that NFUS Vice President Andrew Connon is now representing the Scottish VI at a UK VI Board Level.

Andrew Connon.
Andrew Connon.

Commenting on his appointment, Andrew said: “As well as promoting best practice, the Scottish VI has an important role in preventing over-regulation of pesticide use within our industry.

“It will also support the priorities of our Combinable Crops committee and Potatoes and Horticultural working groups as we look to preserve the range of active ingredients available in our plant protection products.

"Having all the tools in the toolbox will be important in the production of safe, nutritious and healthy crops in the future.

“I look forward to working with Amy to further develop this important area for NFU Scotland members.”

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