0 A Concern for the Amenity Sector!

Chemical manufacturers are investing a lot of time, money and effort developing, registering and maintaining product approvals and then stewarding and technically supporting them for use throughout the amenity industry.

Unfortunately, parallel imports are then coming into the industry very cheaply and being sold purely on price. They do not have to justify any of the costs other than importing and re-labelling after an initial small registration fee.

There have been instances where parallel products have omitted key product stewardship wording off the labels, which have given them a competitive advantage in some instances, as well as putting the molecule at risk from misuse. With a global internet, any negative news from mishaps travels very fast, and can put a molecule at risk globally. There have also been reports that end-users have ordered a branded product, but received the equivalent parallel.

The chemical manufacturers are, therefore, being both directly impacted by head to head competition, and indirectly affected by parallels generally bringing the value of the markets down. Whilst this is all great in terms of ensuring the end user gets the most competitive price short term, it has serious implications for the long term viability of the industry.

Companies who invest in approved products need to get the message across to the distributors and, in particular, the contractors and end users that, if this continues much longer, there will be no future for their industry as core R&D manufacturers will cease to support old products, yet alone develop new ones, as it will not be financially viable. When these products lose their registrations, so will the parallels.

This is not being anti-competitive, but simply stating the facts, so that the buyers can make an informed decision. Obviously, end-users and distributors can make a choice as to which products they support - but if they do choose the parallel, then at least they cannot be in a position to complain when they lack the necessary products to control their weeds, pests and diseases in the long term.

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