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Public Statements

The Sustainable Use Regulation Must Embrace Innovation As Its Key Enabler 

We can contribute to the reduction in pesticide use and risk by continuing to innovate and provide solutions to protect crops from pests and diseases 

BRUSSELS, 22 June 2022 – In order for reduction targets to be achievable and realistic, they should be practical, evidence-based, and fully take into account any relevant historical reduction initiatives. Setting an arbitrary target will disregard the significant efforts that member states have made to reduce pesticide use as well as the various agronomic conditions across Europe.

CropLife Europe Director General, Olivier de Matos, added: “If we truly want to transform the system, we cannot set arbitrary targets at EU and national level that end up alienating the very people that are producing healthy and sustainable food every day for European citizens and beyond. We firmly believe that reducing the impact of farming does not mean reducing the tools available to farmers. There is a need to discuss the tools needed for such a transition, and therefore the regulation must embrace innovation as its key enabler. Different regulations should not operate in silos if we are to deliver on our Green Deal objectives. Therefore, any proposed targets should ensure that there are viable and effective alternative options on the market.”

Digital and Precision Agriculture Solutions as well as biopesticides must be recognised as enablers of the Farm to Fork strategy. These technologies must explicitly be supported in the Sustainable Use Regulation (SUR), or through other complementary instruments, in order to successfully allow EU farmers to work towards reaching the proposed reduction targets.

Olivier de Matos added: “Our industry considers that innovation holds many of the answers to the current challenges that we are facing. We remain committed to providing farmers with the innovative tools to allow them to protect their crops from pests and diseases. “

This proposal is yet another opportunity to discuss and openly promote the innovative agricultural tools and technologies that farmers will need to provide a sustainable and secure food supply. CropLife Europe is keen to engage in a broader dialogue and help provide European farmers with the solutions.

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