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Product renewal problems in the time of pandemic

The problem 

When a pesticide company has a large portfolio of products, it can seem like a non-stop merry-go-round of activity to keep all these products authorised and on the market in all the individual countries. Each action in support of a product leads to new actions and new deadlines: some document to be submitted, an extension of use, a renewal. Any missed deadline can potentially lead to the withdrawal of a product from the market, 6 months to use up stocks and having to apply for a new authorisation. 
During this period of Covid-19, one of our clients had all of their staff working from home. The transition was rapid and their systems had to pivot overnight. Suddenly there was a whole new range of challenges and barriers to efficient working. Unfortunately, this led to a situation where a deadline was missed for the renewal of a product: this was not noticed until a few days later. Our client called us to ask if there was anything that we could do. 


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Country by Country assessments simplified

The problem 

Early in 2020, a client approached us with a problem with aquatic risk assessment that is common to many companies and for many products. “How can we determine the optimum mitigation options, application rates, crop growth stages and application timings for all the separate countries in Europe?” There is a trade-off between all of these factors, and it can be hard to find the best solution, especially because countries have slightly different ways of choosing the options. Each country has its own requirements on which FOCUS scenarios are relevant and which mitigations are acceptable. This means, for example, that one country may allow a wider drift buffer than another and thus a higher rate of application. One country may require any single runoff scenario to pass, whereas another may allow a label restriction based on soils covered by the D2 drainage scenario. Of course, this problem can be solved using the standard tools of SWASH and SWAN: the real question concerns finding the optimum solutions quickly, without endless iteration and revision.


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