New PAN UK briefing on the whys and hows of adopting a pesticide reduction target

Sustain member Pesticide Action Network UK has a new briefing on how to set a target and ways in which it could be used to drive a meaningful and lasting reduction in pesticide use.

Brexit represents a major opportunity to end the UK’s reliance on agrochemicals. Not only would this better protect human health from pesticide-related harms, it would also bring far-reaching benefits for wildlife and our natural environment. In fact, without a radical reduction in pesticide use it simply won’t be possible to achieve many of the goals of the UK environmental movement. 

The government’s 25-Year Environment Plan commits to reducing pesticide use but provides almost no detail as to how this might be achieved. In order to ensure that this aspiration becomes a reality, PAN UK is calling for the adoption of a pesticide reduction target.

UK pesticide policy is currently set using a siloed approach which fails to take into account, let alone mitigate, the cumulative impacts of the various pesticides that are being deployed. The introduction of a pesticide reduction target would provide an over-arching framework to coordinate the work of multiple stakeholders and help consolidate the wide range of existing government activities on pesticides. Crucially, it would also provide UK farmers with clarity as to the government’s direction of travel in terms of pesticide use, enabling them to make long-term decisions. Reduction targets have been key to driving down pesticide use in a range of other countries, including Denmark and France.

This PAN UK briefing provides more detail on how to set a target and ways in which it could be used to drive a meaningful and lasting reduction in pesticide use.

PAN UK is urging others to join the call for the introduction of a pesticide reduction target. If you’re interested please contact Head of Policy and Campaigns, Josie Cohen at


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