The Pesticide Risk Tool is an online tool used by growers, NGOs/certifiers and food retail companies to understand and quantify a suite of 13 different pesticide-related risks to non-target organisms including pollinators, workers/bystanders, and consumers. It allows producers to compare risks of different pest management options, and certifiers and food companies to quantify, track and report progress on pesticide risk reduction. The tool is accessed at pesticiderisk.org.

IPM Institute

Implemented in

  • Europe and Central Asia
  • Latin America / Caribbean
  • North America


Building enabling environments for sustainable food systems, Increasing the access to and fostering the application of actionable knowledge, information and tools to mainstream SCP in food systems, Raising awareness on the need to adopt SCP patterns in food systems, Strengthening collaboration among food system stakeholders to increase the sector’s SCP performance

Sustainability themes

Sector of activity
Agricultural and Fishery

Type of initiative
Education & Awareness Raising, Policy Frameworks & Tools, Research, Analysis, Assessment

Type of lead actor
Scientific and Technical

Shared by

Thomas Green

President

IPM Institute of North America, Inc.

Send an email

Objectives

The Pesticide Risk Tool synthesizes actionable, science-based information on pesticides and associated risks and provides easy-to-access information to farmers, NGOs/standards certifiers, private food companies and other interested stakeholders. By making this information available, farmers can identify and reduce pesticide-related risks through informed selection of alternatives, certifiers can assess pesticide-related risks across a group of certified growers and track and communicate progress towards risk reduction objectives, e.g., reducing the number of potentially high risks to workers, pollinators, or other non-target organisms and food companies can identify the highest risks in their supply chains, set goals, and track and communicate progress towards reducing those risks.

Collectively, by providing access to unbiased, science-based information, actors along the entire food supply chain can engage in efforts to reduce pesticide-related risks to the environment, workers and consumers.

Activities

The Tool launched online and is available for use by individuals and companies. Ongoing activities include database updates, bug fixes and enhancements, interface updates to improve usability and meet the needs of various clients.

IPM Institute continues to look for opportunities to expand the impacts of the Tool through partnerships with food companies, standards certifiers or NGOs that could benefit from using the tool to measure, track and report on progress in reducing pesticide-related risks.

Impact and Results

The Pesticide Risk Tool has been used by the Red Tomato Eco Apple program to document and communicate a 50% reduction in the average number of high risks per pesticide application since 2004 and a 35% reduction since 2010.

Multiple major food retailers have use the Pesticide Risk Tool to analyze pesticide-related risks in their supply chains, and target the highest risks for reduction.

Several sustainability certifications require their growers to use the Pesticide Risk Tool to analyze the risks associated with their pesticide use, leading to a greater awareness of risks that has led some growers to replace higher-risk products with lower-risk alternatives, extend restricted entry intervals to protect workers, or time applications to reduce risks to pollinators.

One certifier uses the Pesticide Risk Tool to evaluate client's requests to use prohibited pesticides.

Next steps and how to get involved

Contact info@sustainablefoodgroup.org to learn more about how your organization can support or benefit from using the Pesticide Risk Tool.