Special calculator can measure pesticide usage in food

By Bethan Grylls

- Last updated on GMT

Ecotone owns brands such as Clipper, Whole Earth and Kallo. Credit: Ecotone
Ecotone owns brands such as Clipper, Whole Earth and Kallo. Credit: Ecotone

Related tags Technology & Automation health & safety Product launches Sustainability

A device which can calculate the level of pesticides used in food has been unveiled.

Working in a similar manner to a carbon footprint calculator, the tool – which was created by natural and organic food producer, Ecotone, and agro-practice consultants, Solagro – is said to be able to inform users of how many pesticides they’ve consumed in everyday foods.

Food production systems all over rely on chemical pesticides to maintain crop yields. But as the European Environmental Agency warns, widespread use is a major polluter, capable of contaminating water, soil and air as well as leading to biodiversity loss.

Donned the ‘Pesticide Footprint Calculator’, this device is said to offer a quick overview of square metres of land “preserved or contaminated”​ by pesticides. More than 30 foods are currently able to be screened, including cereal, potatoes, wine, sugar and apples.

The calculator has been launched in France (and is available to use here​), with the ambition is to create a model that can be rolled out in other international markets.

Ecotone’s chairman, Christophe Barnouin has said the next step is to bring the calculator to a UK audience.

“Currently the UK lacks the volume of open source data to implement a similar tool – but we’re on a mission to address this for a multi-national rollout once the data becomes available,”​ he added.

The methodology and open-access data that fuels the calculator in France, are based on the work carried out during the launch of the first French Pesticide Map, unveiled by the Ecotone Foundation and Solagro in June 2022.

This announcement coincides with Ecotone’s latest Impact Report, in which the company shared an extract of its B Corp audit results, in which it was praised for its progress and success in fostering biodiversity preservation.

In other news, supermarket Morrisons has invested £2 million in a year-long pilot scheme that will cover participating farmers' growing costs for crops.

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