Sir, Your article 'UK under threat from a new type of fly' (The Grocer, 20 August), highlights a growing global challenge in managing pests and diseases. Some 40% of all crops worldwide are now lost to plant pests and diseases.

The impact of these losses is felt most in developing countries but the need to address crop losses is not only a humanitarian issue. It makes sound business sense and could go a long way towards combating the continuing rises in food prices. CABI has recently launched a major global initiative, Plantwise, which aims to provide the sort of 'surveillance system' that Dr Michelle Fountain at East Malling suggests. It will feature a single point of access to all plant pest and disease information which will provide a detailed, current and constantly updated picture of pest and disease distribution globally.

Philippa David, senior business development consultant, CABI