Spearheading Innovative-Nature-based Solutions to Ensure Food Security: Biocontrol Industry Meeting Attracts More Than 1800 Delegates in Basel

The Annual Biocontrol Industry Meeting (ABIM) 2023 welcomed over 1800 participants from 58 countries highlighting the essential role biocontrol plays in providing better solutions for plant protection and securing the future of food and farming. Organised by the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL and IBMA (International Biocontrol Manufacturers Association) in Basel, Switzerland, the 18th edition of ABIM, 23-25 October, was filled with inspiring discussions, insightful presentations, and innovative ideas. In addition, 115 exhibitors showcased a variety of nature-based solutions enabling farmers to grow food working with nature and enhancing on-farm resilience.

(Basel, 10.25.2023) Widely recognized as the premier meeting place for the biocontrol industry, ABIM gathered 1,800 delegates and 115 exhibitors from 58 countries to present research findings, discuss business opportunities and learn about the latest regulatory developments.

Jennifer Lewis, IBMA Executive Director: “We are on the brink of a watershed moment for biocontrol in Europe. The Sustainable Use Regulation (SUR) is a key piece of legislation providing an EU-wide definition of biocontrol and the power to accelerate the transition to greater sustainability in agriculture. It has the potential to give more and more farmers access to solutions enabling them, and future generations of farmers, to manage their crops productively while enhancing biodiversity and building resiliency on their farms. Here at ABIM we have seen the biocontrol industry is ready to deliver these solutions.”

Lucius Tamm, Managing Director of ABIM AG, 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.”

Industry Leaders and EU Regulators on Stage

Delegates joined sessions highlighting innovations and digital solutions as well as workshops on how to make biocontrol more accessible to growers and understanding how investors think. Moreover, there was the unique opportunity to engage with EU regulators and senior policy officers from DG SANTE (Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety of the European Commission) as well as representatives of CTGB (Dutch Board for the Authorisation of Plant Protection Products and Biocides) in a workshop on “registration best practice”. This was followed by a keynote speech from Christian Huyghe, Scientific Director of Agriculture at INRAE, who then joined Herman Van Mellaert, President of IBMA Global for a panel discussion chaired by Joanna Sullivan, Founder and CEO of Conscience Consulting. Topics touched on included the foresight study conducted by INRAE “European Pesticide-Free Agriculture in 2050” showing how the transition to a more resilient and productive agriculture is possible when it combines the wide use of biocontrol solutions with other agroecological practices.

Innovative Solutions Win Bernard Blum Award

Innovations have always been a driving force in the biocontrol industry. Initiated in 2015, the Bernard Blum Award is presented annually to innovative biocontrol products that provide solutions for the management of pests or diseases that are also better for people and the planet. Chosen from over 35 entries, the winner of the Bernard Blum Award for Novel Biocontrol Solutions is DCM for their product PEA-02, second place is Signs for their product NoReds and third place is Koppert for their product Nezapar. The winner of the category “Best Innovative product assisting biocontrol uptake” is BioBest for their product Trap-Eye. The organisers congratulate all winners and look forward to seeing more innovations in 2024.

ABIM demonstrates the increasing impact and pivotal role biocontrol solutions play in the transformation of plant protection and agricultural practices ultimately contributing to resilient agriculture and food security worldwide.

Save the date: The 19th edition of ABIM takes place 21-23 October 2024.