Eden Research plc, the Oxford based sustainable biopesticide company which is developing plastic-free technology for use in global crop protection, animal health and consumer products has secured authorisation from French regulatory authority ANSES for its biofungicide Mevalone for use on pome fruits (such as apples and pears) to prevent post-harvest storage diseases.
France produces close to 1.6 million tonnes of apples annually and exports almost half of that volume. It is consistently among the top three apple producing countries in the EU.
This authorisation represents the first full authorisation for a major new use and the first use of Mevalone on pome fruit after an emergency authorisation was granted in 2019. The original emergency authorisation was granted as apple growers are coming under increasing pressure to protect their harvests while the list of available conventional treatments are being reduced due to regulatory action.
Many conventional fungicide products have relatively long pre-harvest intervals (the minimum time allowed between application of a pesticide and harvest) because they leave detectable chemical residues. This means that they cannot be applied to a crop in the critical last weeks of the season when fruit can be vulnerable to damage to the skin, leading to rot during storage and ultimately, food loss. Collectively, post-harvest diseases cause significant economic losses worldwide on an annual basis, with fruit losses ranging from five to 20 per cent.
Fortunately, Mevalone offers growers a sustainable alternative, as it is based on natural plant active ingredients which are exempt from EU crop residue limits and can be applied up to three days before harvest, significantly reducing the risk of loss to farmers and the generation of food waste.
This latest authorisation is a significant addition to the existing Mevalone label in France, where it is already approved for use on grapes to control botrytis and distributed by Sumi Agro France.
Sean Smith, Chief Executive Officer of Eden Research plc, said: “The new use of Mevalone on apples, which are classed as a major crop in France, is an exciting development for Eden, and grows our addressable market in this key European territory. Mevalone has significant potential in several market segments, and we are focussed on developing the product to meet the needs of farmers who are increasingly unable to use many conventional chemicals due to more stringent regulations. We look forward to receiving further product authorisations in due course and further helping farmers efficiently and sustainably provide food for our growing population.”