Everyone has a role – and a responsibility.

Act 36 of 1947 governs the sale, use and distribution of pesticides in South Africa. As such, it is one of the laws that we, as an industry that buys, handles and applies pesticides, need to ensure we comply with.

There are at least two parties involved in the selling/purchasing of pesticides: the seller/distributor and the forester/contractor/farmer. Both parties have certain roles and responsibilities.

Pesticide transactions usually fall within one of two potential scenarios:

  1. Where the forester/contractor/farmer knows exactly which product they require and purchases it from the seller/distributor.
  2. Where the forester/contractor/farmer may require advice from the seller/distributor as to which product to purchase. Thus, the seller/distributor becomes both adviser and retail outlet and this may complicate the situation.

According to Act 36 of 1947, the distributor may not “…recommend the use of, any agricultural remedy or stock remedy for a purpose or in a manner other than that specified on the label…”. If distributors are found in contravention of this, they may be prosecuted and face consequent penalties.

Bearing this in mind, it is the responsibility of the forester/contractor/farmer to ensure that any product they are purchasing is used in line with label specifications under Act 36 of 1947 requirements, as well as the requirements of the various certification schemes they may adhere to. Ultimately, they are expected to apply due diligence.

Due diligence is a baseline requirement when using pesticides. It is not a “nice to have” approach towards pesticide use; it is an essential aspect of how the Forestry Sector collectively views and uses pesticides.

Role of the seller/distributorRole of the forester/contractor/farmer
1. Provide good and correct information, in line with Act 36 of 1947 and the product label.

2. A good distributor may well know and understand the requirements of the certification schemes and provide information in line with these.
Double check the information provided through:

a. a quick Internet search of the product label,
b. checking the TIPWG website for the most up to date APL,
c. contacting an in-house specialist or
d. contacting TIPWG directly.

The use of pesticides in our Sector is probably more heavily regulated than any other. Whether or not you agree that this should be the case, we are required to employ higher levels of due diligence to ensure the pesticides you use abide by South African legislation and industry-based certification requirements.

If you feel that these standards are not being met, please bring it to our attention.

TIPWG encourages all parties involved with pesticides in the Forestry Sector to be actively involved with TIPWG and have the correct knowledge on the products approved for use within the Forestry Sector. We cannot emphasise enough the importance of abiding by the Approved Pesticide List (APL), especially since the release of the updated FSC Pesticide Policy.

A good way to stay abreast of changes in pesticide usage is to subscribe to the TIPWG mailing list, this will ensure you are notified of any changes to the APL and other certification requirements regarding the use of pesticides in forestry.

Subscription is simple. Visit the TIPWG website www.tipwg.co.za and click on the link at the bottom of the web page.

/ Getting to know TIPWG