This article was published on 27 July 2020
The product, named Lateral, is the result of Pukekohe-based Ecolibrium working with the Bio-Protection Research Centre at Lincoln University, launched through a partnership with Farmlands Cooperative (working with regulators EPA and ACVM).
The use of pesticides on crops has long been the subject of debate, given the potential impacts on native plants and animals as well as human health, and the possibility for pests to develop resistance over time.
Lateral offers a natural, bacteria-based alternative to chemical control measures. Tested against conventional products to ensure its efficacy, the product represents a major breakthrough for food safety, crop protection and consumer acceptance – as well as being another example of Kiwi ingenuity in preserving native species while combating invasive ones.
Lateral uses a bacterium known as Brevibacillus laterosporus strain 1951. It’s one of two bacteria identified in 2010 (the other being Brevibacillus laterosporus strain 1821) as being particularly effective against caterpillars, mosquitos and flies, all of which can threaten crops. The bacterium has been tested in half a dozen countries, with results proven to be effective in controlling pests without harming crops.
At Fieldays Online, Lateral won the Partnership and Collaboration Award by beating other strong entrants from the Prototype Innovation Award, Launch NZ Innovation Award, and International Innovation Award categories. The competition offers businesses of all sizes the opportunity to showcase their innovations, from backyard inventions and commercial improvements to the latest rural advancements with the potential to disrupt agriculture on a global scale.
Callaghan Innovation sponsors Fieldays Online, and the Partnership and Collaboration Award, because of a belief in the importance of celebrating the collaborations and partnerships that help innovators succeed.
This award recognises the connections between agritech innovators, decision makers, media and investors that help to drive innovative change in New Zealand. Callaghan Innovation is proud to help forward-thinking businesses accelerate, and to acknowledge the wider innovation ecosystem involved in their journey.