VI Chairman trades in grandfather rights

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Richard Butler, Chairman of the Voluntary Initiative, has undertaken the training to become a certificated sprayer operator.

Richard Butler achieved the Level 2 Award in the Safe Use of Pesticides Replacing Grandfather Rights last week, just in time for the ending of Grandfather Rights on 26th November. Without this certificate he would no longer have been able to apply professional pesticides from this date.

“It’s tempting for those of us who’ve been spraying for decades to think we know it all, but taking this course has shown me that there were gaps in my knowledge. I would encourage anyone who has yet to replace their Grandfather Rights with a specified certificate to do so”.

As Richard was born before 31st December 1964 he had previously been operating under an exemption, common known as Grandfather Rights, allowing him to use professional pesticides without a specified certificate. This exemption ends on November 26th this year. From this date anyone using professional pesticides will need to have a certificate prior to making the application, unless they are being supervised for the purpose of training by someone who holds such a certificate.

From 26th November 2015 it also becomes an offence for anyone to purchase pesticides authorised for professional use unless they have ensured that the intended end user holds the relevant specified certificate(s).

For help deciding which certification route is most appropriate for you and your farm business consult the Grandfather Rights pages at

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