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Botrytis bio-fungicide approved in Australia

Published:  25 August, 2020

Eden Research has received authorisation for the sale of its bio-fungicide, which protects against Botrytis Cinerea, in Australia, for use on wine and table grapes.

The product, which is authorised and marketed under the trade name Novellus in Australia, is used as a sustainable and residue-free solution for botrytis – a particularly prominent disease in grapes, significantly impacting crop yield and quality.

Marketed as Mevalone in Europe and Africa, the product has already been approved by 11 other countries. 

The authorisation for the sale of the bio-fungicide in Australia follows Australian grape growers having been faced with a declining choice when it comes to protecting against botrytis due to the phasing out of conventional chemical solutions, according to Eden Research. 

In June 2019, the EU maximum residue limit (MRL) for iprodione, a conventional synthetic chemical treatment for botrytis, reverted to 0.01mg/kg, which is effectively zero.

As a result, wine producers in Australia that export to the EU have been forced to avoid the use of iprodione. 

Novellus, which is MRL-exempt, would provide Australian growers with a “much-needed” sustainable solution to botrytis, said Sean Smith, CEO of Eden Research.  

“Australia’s grape growing industry is sizeable and well-regarded, and Novellus will provide farmers with an efficacious solution to protect against botrytis, contributing to the industry’s sustainable growth. The approval also represents a geographical expansion for our business, and we look forward to continuing our work with [distributor] Sipcam to increase our activities in the region.”  

With wine grapes making up an estimated 60.3% of Australian grape crop revenue, the country is a key market for both Eden Research and Sipcam. 

Botrytis cinerea is estimated to cause an annual economic loss of more than US$10bn worldwide.