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Cumulative impact of hazard-based legislation on crop protection products in Europe

juli 14, 2016

A new EU impact study published today reveals that if more crop protection products are removed from the market, quality food supplies will be put at risk and unemployment will rise, costing the economy billions of euros.

This study was commissioned by ECPA and carried out by the consultancy Steward Redqueen based on information provided by Copa and Cogeca member organisations and technical institutes. The study looks at the cumulative impact in the EU of having a hazard based legislative approach for assessing crop protection products, instead of a risk based one.

Speaking at a press event to launch the study, Copa and Cogeca Secretary-General Pekka Pesonen said “Many crop protection products are being steadily phased out, which is pressurizing not only European farmers livelihoods but also the environment, employment and the economy. Moreover, many of the substances identified in the report are still being used in non-EU countries, putting us at a complete competitive disadvantage, with no advantage to the European consumer”.

Explaining key findings of the report, Chairman of Copa and Cogeca Phytosanitary Questions Working Party Luc Peeters said “The study identifies 75 substances that risk being withdrawn from the market. And it shows that it will impact on the whole EU arable crops sector with yield losses of up to 40% estimated for some commodities. This will erode farmers margins and cut farm profitability by as much as 40% resulting in total losses of 17 billion euros in terms of overall farm profitability, the study shows. The seven staple crops identified in the report - barley, wheat, rapeseed, maize, potatoes, sugar beet, grapes - correspond to 1.2 million jobs and 30% of these are identified to be at medium to high risk of being lost. 24 speciality crops are also included in the report which relates to 300, 000 jobs”.

Chairman of Copa and Cogeca Cereals Working Party Max Schulman said “We are already seeing the impact of the neonicotinoid seed treatment ban on EU rapeseed, corn and sunflower production. Yields are down and the area sown is falling as some farmers are switching to other crops because they do not want to take the risk. This means rapeseed is being dropped from crop rotations which has a negative environmental impact. Resistance also builds up if there is no rotation in active substances. The problem is no alternative tools for crop protection exist and crops are being dessimated by flea beetle attacks. Looking ahead, withdrawn substances are also unlikely to be easily replaced. Action is vital”.

For further information, please contact:

 Copa & Cogeca ECPA   Steward Redqueen
 Amanda Cheesley  Graem Taylor  Willem Ruster
 Press Officer  Public Affairs  Senior Consultant
 +32 2 287 27 90  +32 2 663 15 63  +31 23 553 0400

 Amanda.cheesley

 Graeme.Taylor

 willem.ruster

"As far as we know the report is unique in its scope and is an important contribution to the debate on EU pesticide regulation." - Prof John Lucas PhD, FRSB and Prof Linda M Field, PhD, FRES, FIBiol, Rothamsted Research

“Some 2 years ago we embarked on an adventure that resulted in a quantification of the value of crop protection products in Europe. The economic perspective chosen is highly welcomed by our members and sparks enthusiasm with our shareholders. It was a nice process, I really enjoyed the flexibility and pragmatism of the Steward Redqueen team. They  always responded quickly and where there when we needed them.”  Jean-Charles Bocquet, Director General of the European Crop Protection Association

The report can be found here: 

cumulative_impact_of_hazard_based_legislation_on_crop_protection_products_in_europe.pdf

and the infographic summarizing our findings can be found here:

infographic_ecpa_study.pdf