Certis UK

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Certis UK's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Certis UK is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles


Country Manager
Potatoes – healthy crop in
field at rosette growth stage
Certis UK is a leading crop protection business which provides
customers with a wide range of innovative integrated crop
protection solutions that support sustainable production
and meet stringent food safety requirements. It is part of
Certis Europe, which was founded in 2001, when Mitsui & Co
acquired three different businesses operating in the UK, France
and the Netherlands. The business now covers the whole of the
EU, with 360 people and a turnover of 250 million. The Certis
UK business has grown to 30 employees with a £30 million
annual turnover. Country Manager Peter Shakespeare tells
TheParliamentary Review
Our mission is to develop and deliver solutions to help growers produce healthy
crops in ways that are better for the planet and good for us all. We believe
growers should have a complete toolbox of products at their disposal to achieve
truly integrated crop management, including conventional chemistry and
naturally occurring products as well as cultural control. Not only will this help
increase sustainability within food production, but it will also promote a more
environmentally sensitive approach to agriculture.
Biorational products are a key area of focus for us as we look to the future. These
are plant protection products generally derived from the natural environment
that offer greater benefits for plants, people and the environment. We see this
as key for our industry’s ability to satisfy the requirements of the value chain and
consumers. Certis currently has the largest biorational product range in the UK and
we aim to grow this to 25 per cent of our sales by 2022.
»Country Manager:
»Founded in 2001
»Located in Great Abington,
»Services: Providing crop
protection products to UK
»No. of employees: 30
»We have the largest range of
biological products in the UK
protecting crops from arable
through to ornamentals.
Certis UK
Highlighting best practice
Growing to be different
As a relatively young and agile
company, we are well positioned to
adapt to market needs more quickly
than some of our larger competitors.
Our most recent growth has resulted
from the acquisition of a seed
treatment product in 2016, which
opened up a new market sector for
us. Therefore, seed treatments became
one of our strategic pillars, alongside
arable crops, potatoes, trees and vines
and soil treatment.
In recent years, we have witnessed the
rise of genetics in agriculture, hailed
for its ability to introduce desirable
traits in plants and help with cost
savings. Larger companies see genetics
as an opportunity to enable a future
where they will sell both the seeds and
the chemistry needed to grow them
successfully. Certis’ independence from
seed breeding provides growers with
access to chemistry regardless of the
varieties they grow.
Changing agriculture, one
biorational at a time
When Certis was launched in
2001, integrated pest management
was one of our core beliefs for
modern agriculture, which led to
us starting to look for and develop
biorational technology for our
portfolio. Thishappened at a time
when traditional chemistry was well
established as the best solution for
crop protection. Despite the market
hurdles, Certis invested in bringing
biorationals to market as an alternative
to existing solutions.
A prime example of this is when
we introduced Sluxx HP, our ferric
phosphate slug pellet, to the market.
As a biorational product, Sluxx HP
is derived from natural elements,
which enable it to be used as part
of all agricultural practices, including
organic production. At the time, we
were entering a sector that already
had two traditional active ingredients
available to solve the slug issue.
Furthermore, there was a perception
among growers that organic products
were not as effective as the traditional
chemistry they had been using for
many years. Over time, we were able
to build farmers’ confidence in Sluxx
HP simply by demonstrating how well
it works, season after season. The
success in market adoption that we
have seen is a testament to the fact
that UK farming operates with an open
mind and that growers will happily
choose an effective organic product
over traditional chemistry when given
the choice. Sluxx HP has now grown
to be the leading slug pellet brand on
Our main challenges
While the response to biorationals
has been encouraging, we see the
lack of incentive for growers to seek
alternative chemistry as a major
challenge to both food production
Grey field slug
(Deroceras reticulatum)
eating a young oilseed
rape plant
Over time, we
were able to
build farmers’
confidence in
Sluxx HP
simply by
how well it
works, season
after season
and the environment. This can be
overcome with the help of industry
authorities and the introduction of
initiatives to educate the market on the
variety of solutions available for crop
protection. To help this sector flourish
further, we believe the registration
process for biorational products should
be reviewed. Currently, they fall under
the pesticide category, which inhibits
the products’ ability to promote their
inherent organic qualities and limits
market adoption.
The rise of counterfeit products is
another growing challenge in the
industry. Not only is this a financial
strain for producers that invest in
making sure their products adhere
to the most stringent regulatory
standards, but it is also an issue for
growers and retailers who purchase
products in good faith. Industry
authorities need to increase their
efforts to stop counterfeit products
coming into the market, remove them
quickly when identified and ensure our
standards for food safety, quality and
cost continue to be maintained.
Looking to the future
There is no avoiding the elephant in
the room – 2019 has been a year of
uncertainty for us all. We also see
numerous opportunities for the future
of agriculture. We are awaiting the
introduction of the new Agriculture Bill,
which will set out the UK’s vision for
food production and influence what
and how farmers will produce. Our
hope is for food sustainability and the
environment to be top priorities going
forward and for the government to see
the benefits of biorational products as a
way to support the future of agriculture.
We also believe the seasonality of food
and the importance of locally grown
crops should become guiding principles
within agriculture. We would welcome
government initiatives to promote and
educate the public about food miles
and how small choices made during
each of our weekly shops can have
a positive impact on the entire food
production chain in the UK.
Finally, we can’t talk about the future
of agriculture without thinking about
the next generations that will keep
food production going. We need to
showcase how innovative agriculture is
as a sector and the many opportunities
that lie ahead in order to attract
young, new faces to the industry.
Our hope is
for food
and the
to be top
going forward
and for the
to see the
benefits of
products as a
way to
support the
future of
Biological control agent
Beauveria bassiana
spores germination on
an insect larvae


This article was sponsored by Certis UK. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Michael Gove.

Rt Hon Michael Gove's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Michael Gove

This year's Parliamentary Review comes at a momentous time for parliament, as we collectively determine the destiny of the United Kingdom. 

On October 31, the UK will leave the European Union. The successful implementation of this process is this government's number-one priority.

Three years after a historic referendum vote, we will deliver on the decisive mandate from the British people. Trust in our democracy depends on it. Until that final hour, we will work determinedly and diligently to negotiate a deal, one that abolishes the backstop and upholds the warm and close relationship we share with our friends, allies and neighbours in the EU. But in the event that the EU refuses to meet us at the table, we must be prepared to leave without a deal.

As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, it is my job to lead on this government's approach, should that scenario happen. Preparing for Brexit is my department's driving mission. But while I am leading this turbocharged effort, the whole of government is committed to this endeavour.

Ministers across Whitehall are working together to ensure that every possibility is considered, every plan is scrutinised and every provision is made. A daily drumbeat of meetings means that we are holding departments accountable, so that preparations are completed on time.

The chancellor has confirmed that all necessary funding will be made available. And we have mobilised thecivil service, assigning 15,000 of our most talented civil servants to manage our exit from the EU.

We will make sure that on November 1, there is as little disruption to national life as possible. Our trade relationships will continue to thrive, thanks to agreements with countries around the world worth £70 billion. Our country will remain secure, thanks to nearly 1,000 new officers posted at our borders. And the 3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us can remain confident, with absolute certainty, of their right to remain in the UK.

Above all, our goal is to be transparent. Soon, we will launch a public information campaign so that citizens, communities and businesses are ready and reassured about what will happen in the event of “no deal”.

In my first few weeks in this role, I have travelled to ports and tarmacs, borders and bridges, all across the UK –from the seaside of Dover to the rolling green hills of County Armagh. I have heard from business owners and border officials, farmers and hauliers. They are ready to put an end to uncertainty. And they are ready to embrace the opportunities ahead.

Our departure from the EU will be a once in a lifetime chance to chart a new course for the United Kingdom. Preparing for that new course will be a herculean effort. But this country has made astounding efforts before. We can do it again.
Rt Hon Michael Gove
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster