The Nursery and Garden Industry network members, and more specifically suppliers to Bunnings, have been advised of the proposed phasing out of neonicotinoid based insecticides with the removal of on-the-shelf products by the end of 2018 and ceasing the application by nursery production growers on plants supplied to Bunnings by the end of 2020.

The National and State NGI Associations are developing and communicating positions to members on the Bunnings decision with general agreement to not agree with the Bunnings decision, but to urge Bunnings to reconsider their proposed ban on the use of neonicotinoids by contract growers before 2020. It is further agreed that the regulator – the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines (APVMA) is best positioned to determine impacts on chemical usage, with APVMA’s current position on Neonicotinoids is that they are currently approved for use in horticulture.

The NGIA Board discussed the issue at their meeting on 30 January concluding that nursery plant growers are trained and qualified to use this class of chemical in a safe and controlled manner as part of an integrated pest management program, and in some instances under programs such as the Nursery Production Farm Management System. The approach of the NGIA Board is to meet with Bunnings representatives and work with us and relevant experts to develop alternative strategies to further minimise exposure of bees to all pesticides.

NGIA will keep members and industry aware of further developments on this issue.