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CropLife Europe responds to Alternative Economiques

What do you expect from the additional data asked to the European commission in order to update the initial IA ? Do you think it can bring changes the fate of the text ?

We cannot comment at this time. We are waiting to see the EC’s response to the request for additional data. It is not appropriate to draw any conclusions until then.

In most of Croplife publications it is said that Croplife shares the green deal ambitions. But at the same time, it seems that your organization does not defend the madatory target (50% reduction), which is an important part of the green deal. Is it a contradiction ? 

The 50% target is set by the Farm to Fork and we support the ambition it represents. However our position is that any target needs to take into account the availability of alternatives and individual country-specific agricultural and environmental conditions.

Our industry is convinced that innovative technologies can help bring us closer to the targets as set out in the farm to fork strategy. We are investing in new crop protection solutions from pesticides, biopesticides as well as digital and precision tools which also have a role to play in reducing pesticide use and risk.  

Harmonised Risk Indicator 1 (HRI 1), measuring the use and risk of pesticides, already shows a decrease of 22% since the baseline period in 2011-2013, and a 1 percentage point decline compared to 2019.

Some NGOs but also MEPs consider that the additional data request asked by member states, and supported by some MEPs, was partly inspired by a lobbying strategy from Croplife, Copa-Cogeca and other stakeholders, in order to delay the proces (and waterdown it ?). What would you answer to that ? 

We are not trying to delay the proposal. Robust data is not a tactic to water down a legislative proposal. It’s there to strengthen it. The SUR presents an opportunity to develop a future-proof legislative environment which supports the development of innovative and more sustainable practices for farmers of all types and for all production models in Europe. To do that, we need to have a clear and up-to-date picture of the situation. 

Do you think that the Sarah Wiener Report is a good one ? (if not, what kind of points you would hope to change)

The draft report put forward in the ENVI Committee does not appear to properly appreciate the importance of giving farmers access to and support for investment in innovative technologies such as digital and precision tools and biopesticides. These solutions could enable the transition to more sustainable practices, including reducing the use and risk of pesticides. It focuses only on eliminating conventional crop protection and offers very little on transition and alternatives or complementary solutions.