Protection of Pollinators

Oral Answers to Questions — Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – in the House of Commons on 17th January 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Matt Warman Matt Warman Conservative, Boston and Skegness

What steps he is taking to protect bees and other pollinators.

Photo of George Eustice George Eustice The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Protecting pollinators and the habitat is a priority for this Government, and our 2017 review of England’s 10-year national pollinator strategy highlights some positive progress. We have also simplified countryside stewardship and introduced new messages to help farmers put pollinators back into our landscapes through our pollinator package.

Photo of Matt Warman Matt Warman Conservative, Boston and Skegness

Three thousand sugar beet farmers will drill their crop this year, 100 of whom will be in my constituency. Many of them rely on neonicotinoids, but it is vital that we rely on scientific evidence. Eleven EU countries have granted emergency authorisation. What are the Government doing to support sugar beet farmers?

Photo of George Eustice George Eustice The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

I am sympathetic to the issue raised by sugar beet growers. Of course, sugar beet is a non-flowering crop, and it does have a particular issue with the peach potato aphid and the virus that goes with it. The growers did put forward an emergency application. The advice from our expert committee on pesticides was that it did not satisfy the criteria, but we invited them to make a subsequent application.