Although well-known in the professional pest control market, Russell IPM is also one of the leading manufacturers of insect pheromone-based monitoring and control products in the agricultural and horticultural markets. It is for one of these products that the award has been granted.
The Queen’s Award for Innovation was awarded for the Ferolite trap, designed and developed by Russell IPM for use by the horticultural industry for the control of infestations of the devastating and destructive tomato pest, Tuta absoluta.
Hearing the news of their award, managing director, Dr Shakir Al-Zaidi, commented: “I am delighted that our research and development efforts have been recognised through the Queen’s Awards. This gives us the motivation to continue in our efforts for the purpose of serving our markets with more innovative products and solutions.”
The Queen's Awards for Enterprise is an awards programme for British businesses and other organisations that excel at international trade, innovation or sustainable development. They are the highest official UK awards for British businesses.
To win an Innovation award, the recipient must be able to show that their business has substantially improved in areas of performance and commercial success and that these achievements are outstanding for the size of the business.
The winning product, Ferolite is a water trap which is designed to utilise the sex pheromone of Tuta absoluta, a destructive and fast moving pest which attacks tomato and other related crops. Ferolite uses a specific wavelength of light to attract the insect to the trap in order to achieve the maximum reduction in the adult population. The central element to this innovation was the discovery of the light wavelength to which Tuta absoluta was most attracted to and then pinpoint the exact period of the night which Tuta absoluta was sexually active. Triggering all the right attractions at the right time offered the most selective and attractive trap for Tuta absoluta, a trap which has since become a key part of any management programme of this dangerous pest.