Independent chairman John Moverley said: ''This year, even more than previous, is a time to attend this event, not just for the quality of information and networking available, but also so we can send out a strong message of the sector commitment to best practice, the vital importance of the work undertaken and the real professionalism [involved].''
The Amenity Forum is the voluntary initiative which promotes best practice in the amenity sector. A statement from the forum said that while it promotes innovation - some members are even developing non-chemical controls - the forum's position is that pesticides, used correctly and safely, remain important and are often the cheapest solution.
The statement continued: "The sector is facing pressures, not least on the number of chemical actives that it has available to it for control purposes. Whilst pesticides are just part of an integrated approach to control, they remain essential and the sector often feels that there is a lack of understanding by government and regulatory bodies on the continued loss of active ingredients in the amenity market and the issues this is already causing and will cause."
For example, the two turf insecticides currently in use are in the process of being banned. Chlorpyrifos has been withdrawn from sale and must be used by 31 August 2015, while imidacloprid will be withdrawn from sale on 30 April 2016 and must be used by 31 October 2016.
The forum's statement said nobody knew how turf pest problems would be managed in future, and that "the cost to British sport, and the many millions spent by consumers in the UK should surfaces become unplayable, should not be underestimated".
It continued: "The Amenity Forum will continue to engage with all involved to emphasise the socio economic impact of weed, pest and disease control. It represents the interests of all in the sector with a wide cross section of membership and including all the major representative organisations as well as those developing non pesticide solutions.
"However the challenge is now and it is important that everyone understands the impact of actions being taken too quickly and not to the benefit of society as a whole."
On 15 October the Amenity Forum is holding its annual conference at Leicester City FC. For more information or to book a £50 ticket, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.