To attain the Bactericide Free achievement, farms must have not used any Bactericides on their property for 12 months.
A Bactericide or Germicide is a chemical that is used to kill bacteria. Bacteria is the decedent of the first form of life on earth and has been surviving and evolving with our ecosystem for over 3 billion years. Bacteria are found almost everywhere on earth from our soils to our skin and in our stomach, they have many benefits to our whole ecosystem.
Rhizobacteria form around roots of plants and help the plant fight off infection by creating B-vitamins, breakdown carbon, nitrogen and calcium with its amino acids, break down iron, copper, magnesium, zinc and more with other organic acids and even sends out signals to the plant so it knows what minerals it needs. Bacteria want the plant to grow because the plant supplies the bacteria with sugars and a habitat. When the plant grows its root system the bacteria can expand and colonise those new roots.
Most bacterial infections in plants are treated with "broad spectrum" bactericides which means they kill lots of different types of bacteria instead of just targeting your specific bacterial infection. This is because it is hard to differentiate a bacterial infection from a fungi infection and by the time it takes you to test the plant to see what it is, the crop has been lost. Most bactericides use copper because of its contact killing speed and its genera approach to killing both bacteria and fungi. Farmers can actually use fungi and bacteria to help fight off bacterial infections. In nutrient and microbial rich soils, plants naturally develop thicker cell walls which also helps stop bacterial infections.
By labelling farms produce with Bactericide Free, customers can support these farmers and help stop the loss of bacteria species before we do irreversible damage to our planet’s bacteria population and diversity.