More than 1550 biocontrol industry representatives gather in Basel at the world’s top meeting for the biocontrol industry

Leaf disc on agar in a small, vented, plastic box with aphids nymphs.

At the 17th edition of ABIM, co-organised by FiBL and the International Biocontrol Manufacturers Association (IBMA), representatives of the biocontrol industry met in Basel, Switzerland from 24-26 October 2022.

More than 1,550 participants from 53 nations were able to network together, face-to-face, as well as listen to inspiring presentations and panel discussions. Business meetings between delegates and our 105 exhibitors took place throughout the event. Both SMEs and large enterprises were well-represented. An amazing number of innovations were presented. These are essential tools to facilitate the transformation to a sustainable agriculture.

As an unrivalled meeting place for the biocontrol industry, ABIM is internationally recognised. It remains the best place to discover and unveil new products, to discuss market opportunities, to present new research and products, to learn about the latest regulatory situation and to liaise with fellow professionals. The high number of delegates at this year’s event shows the increasing importance of this topic.

Jennifer Lewis, IBMA Executive Director notes: “Biocontrol is essential in the transition of agriculture. These nature-based alternatives to chemical pesticides improve biodiversity, soil quality, crop health and resilience contributing to sustainable food production.”

Lucius Tamm, managing director of ABIM AG and Head of Department of Crop Sciences at FiBL Switzerland further draws attention to the role of biocontrol when it comes to sustainability: “Agricultural systems and processes must become more sustainable in the future. Biocontrol delivers crucial solutions and can shape this transformation process to sustainable agriculture successfully. This is why this annual meeting for the biocontrol industry is so important – for the industry itself and for the whole of society.”

The programme of ABIM 2022 included presentations from the European Commission on the latest policy positions on the new Sustainable Use Regulation and the relevant changes to the registration requirements of biocontrol. The new policies aim at reducing the dependence on chemical pesticides and facilitate authorization and uptake of non chemical solutions. Innovations and successful IPM programmes from around the world were presented, highlighting especially the dynamic development of biocontrol in Brasil. The crucial role and contribution of the food industry to the transformation of agriculture was discussed by value chain experts. Transformation also needs policy support. Examples of enabling policies from leading countries were shared and discussed.

Innovations have always been essential drivers for the biocontrol industry. This is why the Bernard Blum Award is presented annually to the most innovative biocontrol product of the year. Every year since 2015, an independent jury selects among a number of entries a winning biocontrol product which provides an effective solution in the management of pests or diseases while having a low impact on human health and the environment. The winning product of the 2022 Bernard Blum Award for Novel Biocontrol Solutions was Pronemite from Biobest. In 2nd place was Andermatt Biocontrol with Plutex and in 3rd place was Oricontrol Plus by Agrobio. The winner of the new category “Best Innovative product assisting biocontrol uptake” is CBC Europe’s product Shindo Trap.

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