Unilever is initiating a major scientific study to evaluate the environmental and economic feasibility of applying biological or non-pesticide methods for plant protection of tea crops in India.
The company has commissioned CABI, the agricultural non-profit organisation to conduct the research. It will review existing practices of crop protection and the limitations of current techniques in India.
In cooperation with the Tea Board of India, the Tea Research Institutes and key industry partners, CABI will then design protocols for pilot field-trials aimed at investigating new approaches for biological, non-pesticide management of pests.
These field-trials will be run in partnership with the Tea Board and tea growers on selected estates and will commence during the next growing season.
The Tea Board of India is already pioneering work in this area through “Trustea” and more recently with the launch of a new Plant Protection Code (PPC).
Unilever has supported and participated actively in both these initiatives.
As part of the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, Unilever’s agricultural raw materials will be produced using sustainable crop practices by 2020.