New ‘green, bee-friendly’ insecticide could be growers’ ‘holy grail’
- Credit: Archant
Agri biotech innovator AlphaBio Control has scooped a Green Apple Award for environmental best practice after creating what may be ‘the holy grail of insecticides’.
The Cambridge firm, which specialises in green crop protection, was co-founded by Iain Fleming of Hessett, Bury St Edmunds, and has offices in Coddenham.
It has created a product called FLiPPER, an organic, bee friendly pesticide made from the residue from extra virgin olive oil which it launched in 2017, and took the award at a ceremony in the Houses of Parliament. “The holy grail of insecticides is to be bee and environmentally friendly. Alphabio may have discovered it,” judges said.
Iain, who founded the company with Alfeo Vecchi, said launching the product had been “a long process”. “To get this recognition from The Green Organisation for our work in finding solutions for safer agricultural products without further damaging the natural environment is superb,” he added.
“The launch of FLiPPER last year marked the culmination of several years of research and development followed by several more years acquiring the necessary regulatory approvals.”
The company specialises in innovative crop protection solutions developed from discoveries made at the convergence of natural chemistry and microbiology.
Its lead product, FLiPPER, is aimed at controlling aphids, whitefly, thrips, mites, psylla, leaf hoppers and scale with negligible impact on honey bees, bumble bees, pollinators, other beneficial insects - or humans.
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It is currently available to the UK wholesale market via the horticultural distributor Fargro Ltd and is also widely used in France, Italy, Greece, Spain and the Netherlands.
In the UK it currently has label approval for use on strawberries, tomatoes and cucumbers under protection and off label approval for peppers, chillies and aubergines. Further, more extensive and conventional label approvals are being processed and should be available from next year.