Vital Signs – Bratislava 28.10.2010

A showcase of studies of importance to the crop protection industry and the outlook for European food productivity, focusing on biodiversity, the reality of agriculture, epidemiology & crop protection, innovation, & the cost of R&D.


Friedhelm Schmider

An introduction by Friedhelm Schmider, Director General, ECPA.



Session 1: Biodiversity

Dr. Michael Riffel

Biodiversity and Agriculture

Michael Riffel is the managing director of RIFCON GmbH, an independent scientific consulting company founded by himself in 2000. RIFCON GmbH offers a comprehensive service portfolio for the registration of agrochemicals. Active in scientific consulting since 1996, Michael’s major interests include biodiversity, species conservation and agriculture. Michael received a degree in biology from the Institute of Zoology, University of Heidelberg, Germany in 1990 and the Ph.D. in Zoology in 1996 also from the University of Heidelberg.

Presentation: Biodiversity and Agriculture (pdf 1.5Mb)

Prof. Tim Benton

Farming and Wildlife – scaling, sparing, sharing

Tim Benton is currently Research Dean in the Faculty of Biological Sciences at the University of Leeds, and Professor of Population Ecology. His research career has been diverse, but most of the work has centered on the relationship between the environment, how it influences life history and therefore how it impacts upon the dynamics of populations, including evolutionary and ecosystem dynamics. The core ecological work has revolved around an experimental model system – soil mites – and this has informed theoretical work in many areas. Applications of the life-history-to-dynamics research has taken Tim into agricultural ecology, initially based on understanding how farming management affects invertebrate populations and how this may impact on bird life-histories through trophic interactions, and more recently on the general relationship between land use – at the landscape scale – and biodiversity and ecosystem function. Tim works on sustainable agriculture projects in the UK, India and Africa and works with colleagues in a range of disciplines in multi- and inter-disciplinary projects in this area.

Presentation: Farming and Wildlife – scaling, sparing, sharing (pdf 1.6Mb)


Question & Answer Session

Session 2: The Reality of Agriculture

Prof. Harold von Witzke

World Agriculture, Food Security and Global Warming

Harald von Witzke is Professor for International Agricultural Trade and Development at Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany. He received his academic credentials from Goettingen University in Germany. From 1983 to 1994 he was on the faculty of the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul, MN. Von Witzke serves as President of the Humboldt Forum for Food and Agriculture, an international think tank dealing with world food security. His academic work is focused on world food security, economic development and climate change.

Presentation: World Agriculture, Food Security and Global Warming (pdf 1.4Mb)

Dominic Dyer

Chief Executive, Crop Protection Association (UK)

The Reality of Agriculture

Séan Rickard

The True Value of Crop Protection

Séan is a specialist in the economics and politics of food and farming. Always ready to expound his view that farmers need to think and act like the owners of non-farm businesses, Séan Rickard is a favourite commentator of newspaper journalists and broadcasters alike. But his power extends beyond his presence in the press. Evidence of his status among politicians became apparent when he was chosen by New Labour to write the agricultural content of the party’s election manifesto in 2005 and has been consulted by House of Commons, House of Lords and official committees of enquiry for his views relating to the future of farming and the challenges its faces in the coming decades.

Presentation: The True Value of Crop Protection (pdf 6.2Mb)


The Reality of Agriculture

Question & Answer Session


Session 3: Epidemiology and Crop Protection

Jean-Charles Bocquet

Director General, UIPP

Epidemiology & Crop Protection – French Situation

Presentation: Epidemiology & Crop Protection – French Situation (pdf 2.7Mb)


Prof. Paolo Boffeta

Professor and Deputy Director, The Tisch Cancer Institute, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY

Interpretation of Epidemiologic Studies

Presentation: Interpretation of Epidemiologic Studies (pdf 800Kb)


Epidemiology and Crop Protection

Question & Answer Session


Session 4: Innovation in Crop Protection – the cost of R&D

Matthew Phillips

Trends in Crop Protection R&D

Matthew Phillips is a partner in Phillips McDougall, he has over 20 years experience in the analysis of agricultural input companies and markets. He holds a PhD in animal biochemistry from the University of Reading and prior to pursuing a career in industry analysis, he led a team that investigated the metabolic fate of agrochemicals and animal health products at both Inveresk Research and Schering Agrochemicals. From there he joined Wood Mackenzie, but left after ten years, having become a Senior Director, to set up Phillips McDougall. Phillips McDougall, was established in 1999 and has become the leading independent consultancy company providing analysis of the global Crop Protection, Seed and Biotechnology Industries and the companies operating in them through the AgriService, AgreWorld and Seed Service. Analysis by Phillips McDougall is regularly quoted by all the major agrochemical companies and investment banks. Phillips McDougall also operate a joint venture with the German basic market research company Kleffmann, known as Amis Global.

Presentation: Trends in Crop Protection R&D (pdf 1.0Mb)