Our Work

Image of Japanese Knotweed, Credit - Pixabay

Review of regulations and market research for novel plant protection products

Fontus Environmental Limited is an agri-tech start-up consultancy company from North Yorkshire focused on research and development projects investigating novel plant protection products and biopesticides.

Support to understand the Plant Protection Product Regulations

Through the European Regional Development Fund Bioeconomy Growth Programme for Yorkshire SMEs, the Biorenewables Development Centre (BDC) supported Fontus on two projects; a review of the regulations that might apply to the potential compounds that Fontus has discovered, as well as market research activities for new products.

Initially Fontus had identified three groups of chemicals which could have potential in the preservation of soft fruit for retail, as a potential adjuvant to enhance the effectiveness of existing approved pesticides, or controlling invasive plants directly. Their previous studies testing a specific compound as a post-harvest food preservative of soft fruits - such as strawberries showed promising results. Other compounds of interest have potential as novel herbicides with broad-spectrum or specific activity against invasive species such as Japanese knotweed, ryegrass, or blackgrass.

To access a complex and ever-changing regulatory landscape Fontus needed our support in understanding that their compounds are subject to Plant Protection Product Regulations, and to understand how to comply and allow commercialisation of selected products. The BDC undertook a broad interpretation of the current UK (covering the GB and EU position) regulations which sets out the rules and procedures on the placing of all plant protection products onto the market.

Dr Gail Shuttleworth, Senior Business Innovation Manager said; Our research has confirmed that all three chemical groups fall under the Plant Protection Product Regulations. We helped Fontus to understand the regulation, and the pathway to authorisation that would be needed before any of these chemicals could be placed onto the market. We also reviewed selected industry contacts to understand their position in the authorisation of new products and how Fontus might want to approach the market.

Ryland Cairns, Director of Fontus added; This regulatory research by the BDC has been invaluable to our company. These results position Fontus in a good place to have further conversations with other industry partners on how to progress the chemicals to market, it is an exciting time for us.

As part of responsible research and innovation the BDC actively encourages its academic and industry clients to work with us to understand the appropriate regulatory environment when developing a new product or process for the marketplace.

To learn more about Fontus visit their website: http://fontusenvironmental.com

Preservation of soft fruit for retail

Potential adjuvant to enhance effectiveness of pesticides

Potential for control of invasive plants