New standard will aim to promote industry benchmark for chemical use

A new assurance initiative is to be launched to ensure an adherence to recognised standards is taken by firms when using weed, pest and disease management chemicals.

The Amenity Standard, from the charity The Amenity Forum, has been likened to the Red Tractor seal of approval symbol in food and agriculture. Those displaying the Amenity Standard symbol will be demonstrating their adherence to recognised assured standards in all tasks that are undertaken, the forum has said.

In a statement, the Amenity Forum said that it is ‘not always clear’ to the public and stakeholders why chemicals must be used in relation to weed, pest and disease management in areas such as public parks.

The forum also said that it will ‘Give the wider public clear assurances that all those involved in creating and maintaining safe, healthy sports grounds and other amenity spaces, operate at the highest professional standards; and whether using chemical or non-chemical methods, such operations are undertaken by competent, trained personnel following well designed and management plans.’

Professor John Moverley, chairman of the Amenity Forum, commented, “We feel this to be exactly the right time to introduce this standard which we hope will be sought and demanded from all who operate in amenity management. It will give assurance that work undertaken is of the highest professional standards by those committed to best practice in every aspect of operations. Those who work in amenity management undertake important and essential operations seeking to create safe and healthy amenity and sports spaces fit for purpose. Introduction of the Standard is we believe a major step and demonstrates once again the high levels of professionalism to be found in our sector.”

“This initiative from The Amenity Forum has been set up by the industry for the responsible use of chemicals. Endorsed by regulatory trade bodies and completely voluntary, we are delighted to be one of the first foundation partners to join.”

The standard is set to be launched this month (February) in Scotland, with discussions currently ongoing in England and Northern Ireland on how best to promote and support the standard.