The Voluntary Initiative

Organisation: The Voluntary Initiative

Location: National

The Voluntary Initiative (VI) is a UK-wide package of measures, agreed with Government, designed to reduce the environmental impact of the use of pesticides in agriculture, horticulture and amenity situations. Initially a list of 27 proposals, the programme finally included over 40 different projects covering research, training, communication and stewardship.

Their 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.

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.
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