Imtrade Australia attended the AgChem Access Priorities Forum at the Federal Golf Club in Canberra on 10 and 11 July as facilitated by Growcom and managed by the Rural Industries Research & Development Corporation.
The conference centred on chemical registrants offering prospective solutions through agricultural chemicals to an extensive listing of industry-identified and ranked pest issues. Growers, via their collective associations were represented by the Grains Research Development Corporation (GRDC), Horticulture Innovation Australia (HIA) and Rural Industries Research & Development Corporation (RIRDC). A range of specialist consultants also fed into this process. Ultimately a listing of the top five pest challenges for each specific crop grouping were matched to chemical treatments. From here, grants applications will be generated and subsequently awarded with the end aim of providing registered agchem solutions in areas of greatest need where current options are either non-existent, or insufficiently serviced (for example with limited modes of action)
Interspersed with this core task, both the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources and the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) made presentations. The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources spoke to the grants program, of which the forum was part. The APVMA addressed the permit-to-label program and crop grouping project, both of which seek to simplify and expedite the registration process and are nearing completion (but without set end dates).
Imtrade, through General Manager Neil McPhee and National Technical Manager Michael Macpherson, broached 30 or so originally suggested solutions through which the research corporations will now work with a view to honing priorities for respective industries/crop groupings.
Additionally to the forum’s core purpose, Imtrade had the opportunity to converse with the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.
Through a private meeting, Imtrade Australia put its position on the challenges of operating as a mid-tier, non-MNC registrant, most notably the shortcoming of the regulatory regime under its current relocation to Armidale, NSW. Ministerial complaints as to non-performance and how this is hurting competition and end user access was another topic. So too was legislative reform.
In all, the forum was an opportunity to contribute meaningfully to product development that meets end user and registrant needs.
Cross pollination with other consultants and registrants assisted in seeding and consolidating opportunities.