CHC participates in NAFTA Technical Working Group on Pesticides

Tour leader Esteban Macías describes crop protection practices at Grupo U facility.
Tour leader Esteban Macías describes crop protection practices at Grupo U facility. Photo: Caleigh Irwin

CHC recently participated in a meeting of the NAFTA Technical Working Group on Pesticides, which took place in Guanajuato, Mexico. During two days of intensive meetings, delegates from the three NAFTA countries, Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, discussed priority issues: harmonization of maximum residue limits (MRLs), minor use programs, environmental issues (pollinators), and tri-lateral trade.

Craig Hunter, of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association, provides a perspective of Canadian horticulture at NAFTA Technical Working Group meeting.

Craig Hunter, of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association, provides a perspective of Canadian horticulture at NAFTA Technical Working Group meeting. Photo: Caleigh Irwin

During these meetings, it became clear that all three countries have a pressing need for harmonization, both in MRLs and in re-evaluation and registration of crop protection products.

According to Caleigh Irwin, CHC Manager, Crop Protection, “Our crop protection needs (Canada, U.S. and Mexico) are similar across different commodities, which could simplify potential solutions, as both industry and government can approach the issues with common solutions instead of individual ones.”

In addition to participating in industry-grower sessions, CHC also learned about field and greenhouse vegetable production in central Mexico during a field tour at the Grupo U facilities, which grows many different commodities including celery, cauliflower, and organic greenhouse tomatoes.

Participants of the working groups included government agencies (Pest Management Regulatory Agency and Pest Management Centre from Canada, Environmental Protection Agency from the U.S., and Servicio Nacional de Sanidad, Inocuidad y Calidad Agroalimentaria – National Service for Agri-Food Health, Safety and Quality – from Mexico), as well as industry and grower associations.

CHC will continue to leverage these types of information sharing opportunities to advance crop protection issues on behalf of its members.