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European Fruit Magazine

Use of crop protection products slashed by half in 2030

On Wednesday 22 June, the European Commission accepted proposals to reduce the use of chemical crop protection products by 2030 by 50%. The European Commission proposals will be discussed in the time to come by the European Parliament and the Council of Europe.
Pushing back the use of crop protection products is one of the most important pillars of the European Farm to Fork strategy, which must show the way to a sustainable future model for European agriculture and food production.
The 50% aim holds good for the European Union as a whole. Member states are free to lay down their own national aims, taking into consideration the specific situation of the country concerned and the intensity of use. But the fact remains, that the European Commission can interfere if it thinks the level of ambition too low. In any case, a 35% reduction is the lower limit.

Integrated crop protection
The measures included in the regulation must guarantee that all users of crop protection products apply integrated crop protection. Here, first alternative, environment-friendly methods for pest prevention and control have to be considered before chemical products can be used. Member states have to establish crop-specific rules, which indicate what alternatives must be used instead of chemical products.

Total ban
At the same time, the European Commission wants to establish a total ban on all chemical crop protection products in vulnerable areas. By vulnerable areas, the Commission means urban green spaces, including public parks or gardens, playgrounds and schools, but also areas for sport and recreation, public footpaths, protected Natura 2000 areas and all ecologically vulnerable areas that have to be maintained for pollinating endangered insects.

Financial support
During the next 5 years, the European Commission will make financial support available to help agriculturalists to bear the costs and to switch to sustainable alternatives, such as plant extracts and microorganisms. The supply of available organic alternatives and low-risk alternatives must be extended and this will be stimulated.