We won! What more can be said except it was a wonderful end to an interesting and busy day.
The Ag industry descended on Knightsbridge, London last Thursday for the annual Agrow Awards which are now in their eighth year.
For the bee topic, colleagues from the Bee Care and Insecticides teams travelled to attend the event. New this year was the change in format from an evening-only event to an extended meeting, including panel discussions on topics of interest for the industry during the day. It goes to show the level of awareness and importance the industry attributes to bee health as the first panel discussion was “The Global Controversy Surrounding Pesticides and their Impact on Bee Populations”.
The panel was moderated by Charlotte Smith, who now hosts BBC Radio 4’s “Farming Today” program. Participating on the panel, Klaus Kunz commented “It was interesting to see the level of interest for this topic. Several in the audience were unsure what to believe about pesticides impact on bees at the start of the event, so it was worth having this open discussion to look at some facts and discuss the overall concerns in this way.” Joining Bayer on the panel were, among others, representatives from Syngenta, CropLife Australia, FERA, the UK-based leading UK Centre for sustainable agriculture and plant protection research, and Crop Protection Association, a member of the European Crop Protection Association, for the lively discussion which followed around the use of pesticides, what the industry can do and the role the media has had in creating some of the public misconceptions about bee health.
Many in the 60-strong audience were interested in the work being done to get the industry’s voice heard and to see how the messages were being communicated and as a result there was a lot of interest in the Bayer Bee Care Program and the activities being carried out through our centers in Monheim, Germany and at North Carolina in the USA. Gillian Mansfield from the Bee Care Center commented, “Bayer established the Bee Care Centers to promote discussion and dialog around the bee health topic so it was important that we could join the event and talk with others from our own industry to explain the situation and what we are doing to improve bee health.”
In the evening, the award ceremony was again a great opportunity to mix with and exchange thoughts with other Ag colleagues from around the world. Bayer had been nominated as finalists for three awards in total – in addition to Bee Care, Sivanto in Best New Crop Protection product or Trait and the new Bayer UK Agronomy Tool in Best Marketing Campaign.
However, it was the Best Public Outreach Award for the Bayer Bee Care Program which Bayer picked up on the night. After collecting the award with Klaus Kunz, Gillian Mansfield recollected “It was wonderful to get this industry recognition for all the outreach work the teams and country colleagues have been doing over the last few years to explain the interaction that different factors can have in affecting bee health and what Bayer is doing to improve the health of these important pollinators. It’s given me a real buzz!”
Pollinators were also the winning theme for CropLife Australia who won the Best Stewardship Award for their Pollinator Protection Initiative (PPI) which employs industry collaboration, technology and innovation to provide resources to ensure crop protection products are used in a manner that minimizes risk to pollinators.
It was great to raise awareness of the importance of pollinators for our industry at this event. Having seeded a few pollen grains on the day, let’s see if more activities on pollinator health bear fruit going forward.
You can find more about the Agrow Awards here.
More on Bayer Bee Care Program here.