Modern farming methods will play a key role in boosting food production to meet the needs of a rapidly growing world population. An estimated 20-40 per cent of our food is already lost every year to weeds, diseases and insect pests. Without access to modern crop protection tools, yields would fall by a further 30-40 per cent.
Pesticides help improve the competitiveness of our food supply chain and keep food prices down. A recent economic report concluded that without pesticides, the nation's food bill would increase by around 40%, or £70 billion. Higher food prices would damage other sectors of the economy, while consumers would also suffer a reduction in the health benefits of having a wide choice of affordable fresh fruit and vegetables.
By controlling the many pests and diseases which reduce yields and damage food quality, crop protection enables consumers to choose from a plentiful supply of high-quality foods that are affordable and accessible all year round. Pesticides can also improve food safety by reducing levels of the harmful natural toxins produced by fungi, insect pests and bacteria in crops.