Supply chain backs fight to retain CIPC

The fresh and processed potato supply chains have given their backing to the ‘Be CIPC Compliant’ stewardship initiative.

The Potato Processor’s Association (PPA), the Fresh Potatoes Suppliers Association (FPSA), and the contractor’s industry body NAAC, have joined the potato farming industry in voicing their support for the long term retention of the sprout suppressant chlorpropham (CIPC).

“For the long term storage of processing potatoes, the industry is totally dependent upon CIPC. The sector would witness devastation if potatoes weren’t supplied for 52 weeks of the year,” says the PPA’s Director-General Richard Harris, emphasising the importance of stewardship and the key role that PPA member companies have played in ensuring uptake of CIPC best practice advice by processing growers.  

David Walker, Chairman of FPSA noted that whilst cold storage and alternatives play a more significant role in sprout suppression in the fresh potatoes sector, he describes CIPC as ‘critical’. “There is no complete alternative solution,” he says.

Both the PPA and FPSA have made a commitment to only sourcing potatoes from CIPC Compliant stores, meaning stores treated by an audited NAAC applicator. The associations’ members will not enter into a contract with a grower unless they are a member of the Assured Produce Scheme, and can demonstrate storage facilities that meet the requirements demanded for good fogging practice.

“It’s an issue that we are taking immensely seriously,” added David. “Any potato residue issue becomes the supply chain’s responsibility. It’s a real concern, and we are fully supportive of ‘Be CIPC Compliant’; it is so obviously in our members’ interests.”

In addition, there is a new and strengthening protocol for Red Tractor Farm Assurance (RTFA) that incorporates new CIPC best practice measures, including a compulsory store check prior to use.

Contractor’s role

Nick Green of the NAAC believes the formation of the CIPC Applicators’ Group is a major step forward in bringing fogging contractors and applicators together. “We have made a joint commitment to uphold the regulations and to comply with best practice.

“This means that we intend to stick together, and we are prepared to say ‘no’ to treatment if another audited contractor has refused to treat a store.”

The supply chain commitment has come as new label recommendations have been introduced for the 2013 storage season. They state that: - CIPC must be applied within three weeks of harvest, or at the earliest occasion thereafter, even in the absence of signs of breaking dormancy; that - in cold stores, CIPC should only be used once, with applications carried out before temperature is reduced   below 7oC. And a further change is to require fans to recirculate store air for at least six hours before CIPC application, without cooling – to reduce temperature gradients and reduce the risk of condensation. Positive ventilation is now recommended in all store types for treatment. While this is not possible in many stores, it is a likely area for regulatory control.

Crop owners are reminded that they have the ultimate responsibility for their crops and all CIPC related activities to ensure compliance with the Maximum Residue Level (MRL). The stewardship group’s store checklist (available from www.CIPCcompliant.co.uk) helps ensure stores are assessed correctly.

  • For information about the fogging applicators signed up to the NAAC group visit www.naac.co.uk
  • Also see the ‘Be CIPC Compliant’ document from the home page of www.CIPCcompliant.co.uk