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.