Biocontrol: a solution for sustainable crop protection in the EU?

Wednesday, April 26, 2023
16:00 - 17:00 (CET)

Agriculture is a vital sector of the European Union’s economy, but it has significant environmental impacts. Pesticides are widely used in agriculture to control pests and diseases, but they can also harm non-target organisms and the environment, which has led to increased public concern over their use. In response to this, the European Union has set ambitious targets for sustainable agriculture under the Green Deal, aiming to reduce the use of chemical pesticides by 50% and promote alternative methods.

Biocontrol could be one of these solutions, since it entails the use of natural means, such as predators, parasitoids, microorganisms, and even peptides to control pests and diseases in crops. Biocontrol agents are generally considered to be less toxic and more sustainable than chemical pesticides, as they are meeting the broader societal aspiration to have more natural solutions.

However, the uptake of biocontrol in the EU has been slow, and there are several challenges to be addressed, such as regulatory barriers, knowledge gaps, and market fragmentation. To address these challenges and promote the use of more natural solutions in crop protection, it is essential to discuss whether the current EU regulatory and policy framework is fit for biocontrol innovation and how it could be enhanced.

This is why we invited interested parties to a panel discussion titled “Biocontrol: a solution for sustainable crop protection in the EU?” during the Forum for the Future of Agriculture Solution Week. The 1-hour discussion explored the potential of biocontrol in contributing to sustainable agriculture, and its impact on the EU’s Green Deal objectives. The event brought together policymakers, scientists, industry experts, and stakeholders to discuss the current status, challenges, and opportunities in the biocontrol market.

Through the event, we hoped to inspire action and policy changes that support the uptake of natural solutions in crop protection and promote sustainable agriculture in the European Union.

Confirmed speakers (in alphabetical order)

Julie Anthoni image
Julie Anthoni

Scientific Manager & Innovative Markets for the VIVESCIA cooperative

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Scientific Manager & Innovative Markets for the VIVESCIA cooperative

For 10 years, Julie was in innovation in biotechnology in charge of the fractionation and purification department of ARD a subsidiary of VIVESCIA. ARD is a private research and development company dedicated to generating value from crops through industrial applications; one of the fields of ARD is the development of Biocontrol solutions. Currently, Julie is Scientific Manager & Innovative Markets for the VIVESCIA cooperative. She is in charge of the connection between the different parts of the group and also in charge of the research of the new opportunity for the group in term of new technology, new market or new partnership.

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Eric Dereudre

VP Government and Industry Affairs, Corteva Agriscience

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VP Government and Industry Affairs, Corteva Agriscience

Eric Dereudre is VP Government and Industry Affairs at Corteva Agriscience. With over 25 years of experience in agriculture, Eric is passionate about farming and its societal implications. He is a strong advocate of science-based and transparent communications. Eric is a past President of the European Crop Protection Association (now CropLife Europe).

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Marilda Dhaskali

EU Agriculture and Bioenergy Policy Officer, BirdLife Europe & Central Asia

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EU Agriculture and Bioenergy Policy Officer, BirdLife Europe & Central Asia

Marilda is EU Agriculture and Bioenergy Policy Officer at BirdLife Europe & Central Asia.

BirdLife Europe & Central Asia has an international team of permanent staff responsible for conservation, science, policy, advocacy, capacity building, fundraising, communications, finance and administration supporting the 45 European and Central Asian BirdLife Partners.

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Anna Rath

President & CEO, Board Member, Vestaron

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President & CEO, Board Member, Vestaron

With 20 years of experience across multiple venture-backed ag-tech companies, Anna joined Vestaron as President & CEO in April 2018 to help lead the transformation of Vestaron from the R&D phase of its development through its commercial phase.  Before Vestaron, Anna was founder and CEO of NexSteppe, a company focused on the development and commercialization of optimized crops for the biobased economy.  Prior to this, Anna led commercial and business development at Ceres, an agricultural biotechnology company.  Anna started her professional career at McKinsey & Co, focused on corporate strategy, assessment of new business initiatives, and business building in various technology sectors.  Anna holds a JD from Yale Law School and a Master’s Degree in Genetics from the University of Michigan.  In 2016, she was awarded BIO's Rosalind Franklin award for female leadership in industrial biotechnology.

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Laura Țicoiu

Policy Officer, European Landowners' Organization

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Policy Officer, European Landowners' Organization

Laura Țicoiu is a Policy Officer at the European Landowners' Organization (ELO), where she focuses on policies related to Farm to Fork, Trade, and Innovation. At ELO, she works to promote sustainable land management and rural development across Europe. Laura has a strong background in European policy and a keen interest in agricultural and environmental issues. She is experienced in working with diverse stakeholders, including policymakers, industry representatives, and civil society groups, to find solutions to pressing challenges in the agricultural sector.

Agenda

Apr 26, 2023

16:00 - 17:00 (CET)

Biocontrol: a solution for sustainable crop protection in the EU?

Confirmed speakers

  • Julie Anthoni, Scientific Manager & Innovative Markets for the VIVESCIA cooperative
  • Marilda Dhaskali, EU Agriculture & Bioenergy Policy Officer, BirdLife Europe and Central Asia
  • Eric Dereudre – VP Government and Industry Affairs, Corteva
  • Anna Rath, President & CEO, Board Member, Vestaron
  • Moderator: Laura Țicoiu, Policy Officer at the European Landowners’ Organization

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