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“A call for a coherent policy on plant protection solutions, including minor uses” (Agri‐food chain Roundtable for plant protection)

06 Mar 2015

The Agri-food Chain RoundTable for Plant Protection is an informal coordination of 16 europeans organizations of growers, cooperatives, food importers, plant protection industry, etc. including Copa-Cogeca, Freshfel, Profel, ECPA and IBMA.
In December 2014, the Roundtable released “A call for a coherent policy on plant protection solutions, including minor uses” (originally in English, and now available en français, en español, in German, in Italian in Polish).

In this call, the Roundtable reminds the positive aspects of the EU regulation:  launch of a coordination secretariat for minor uses, progressive implementation of the 1107/2009 regulation…

Nevertheless, at the same time, “the Roundtable considers that these efforts are significantly undermined by several other developments which offset the progress.” In particular:
* The increasingly burdensome rules in regard to the approval of active substances within the
framework of Regulation 1107/2009
* Differences in national implementation of the 1107/2009 regulation and of the Sustainable Use Directive. That leads “to more  distortion  among  EU  growers,  processors  and  traders  and  de  facto  to  a
proliferation of complexities including on minor uses.”
*  Candidates for substitution and comparative assessment: “Indeed,  in  their  respective
evaluation processes, Member States might conduct a comparative assessment per crop on the
basis of different priorities and criteria, resulting in further distortion of competition for growers
in different Member States.”

Consequently, the Roundtable publishes some recommendations to the European Commission, including to:
Ensure that the spirit of Regulation EC/1107/2009 is maintained through the placing on the
market  of  sufficient  (mechanical,  biological  and  chemical)  tools  to  protect  crops.
– Ensure with Member States that one of the main objectives of Regulation EC/1107/2009 to
harmonize  usage  authorisation  is  properly  implemented  without  excessive  additional
national restrictions by individual Member States.
Provide guidelines to foster harmonisation and mutual recognition by highlighting success
stories in finding sustainable solutions.
Provide  appropriate  criteria  and  guidelines  to  enable  “low‐risk  products”  to  be  made
available for use in a harmonised and timely way without further delay.
Provide  guidelines  to  make  sure  that  the  “comparative  assessment”  of  products  will  be done in a harmonized and practical way, without distorting competition and trade.
Urge Member States to pay particular attention to minor uses and take all the necessary
steps to prevent ‘orphan crops’, where no suitable plant protection solutions are available.

The Roundtable has written to European Commissioners Vytenis Andriukaitis (Health and Food safety)  and Phil Hogan (Agriculture and rural development) on this basis.

Each individual organization might use this call in their own action towards European institutions. And member states growers organizations also might use it to sensitizing National Authorities and urging them to implement a full european harmonization.