About Us

About Us

The Voluntary Initiative is an industry led programme. Through our schemes, tools and messages we promote the responsible use of pesticides.


Our mission is to promote the responsible use of pesticides in order to protect water and the wider environment and ensure the availability of professional pesticides in agriculture and horticulture while avoiding unnecessary regulation on the sector.

Our Strategic Aims:

  • To ensure that industry demonstrates continued commitment to best practice in pesticide use within the context of Integrated Pest Management with the aim of minimising environmental impact and ensuring the availability of crop protection solutions in the future.
  • For the VI to be seen as the centre of excellence on pesticide stewardship and best practice by government, industry and stakeholders.

Our Strategic Priorities:

  • The quality of water abstracted for drinking is the highest priority with a particular focus on herbicides used in oilseed rape and grassland as well as working with the metaldehyde stewardship group on this pertinent issue.
  • Insecticide stewardship to reduce the risk to bees and other pollinators and potential restrictions on insecticide use. This links to Integrated Pest Management, new approaches and the provision of messages on the use of a holistic approach to crop protection.
  • National Action Plan for the Sustainable Use of Pesticides – the VI is a delivery mechanism for the UK NAP, reviewing and improving current measures and developing new approaches.
  • Integration of messaging with other initiatives.

We care about this because adherence to best practice in pesticide use results in:

  • Reduced risk to the aquatic environment and improved compliance with the Water Framework Directive.
  • Protection of pollinators and other farm wildlife.
  • Reassurance for people living adjacent to sprayed crops, bee keepers and the general public that pesticides are being used safely.
  • Confidence to consumers and retailers that food produced in the UK is safe.
  • A reduced risk of further regulation or restriction on the use of pesticides.
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