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Interest Grows in Communicating the Good News of IPM

IPM elements
The IPM label. Illustration by Karen English.

 

IPM labels tell consumers about grower stewardship

Explaining the environmental stewardship of agricultural producers to consumers at the point of purchase is a worthy enterprise. Wegmans Food Markets began such an enterprise two years ago, when it chose to use IPM labels and to develop materials that explain IPM to its customers.

In 1997 two grower organizations and a food processor--the New York State Berry Growers Association, the Eden Valley Growers, and Curtice Burns--requested use of the IPM logo as a step in their initiation of IPM labeling. The requesting parties then met with Cornell research and extension IPM experts to choose sets of elements that define IPM for specific commodities. "Elements of IPM" are now in place for 10 vegetable and 4 fruit crops in New York.

More than 4,000 acres of vegetables and fruit were grown for IPM labeling in 1997. The producers growing these crops kept detailed records of their use of IPM. Their progress in adopting IPM elements was documented by independent third parties who reported to the organizations that licensed the IPM logo.

The use of the IPM logo insures the integrity of every participant in the IPM labeling process.