17 EU associations across the food and feed sectors have dispatched letters to several representatives from the European Commission and MEPs involved in the decision-making of the current policy proposal concerning the Sustainable Use of Plant Protection Products Regulation (SUR).
The joint open letter addressed different Directors General from the AGRI, COMP, ENVI, SANTE and TRADE committees, including MEP C. Aguileira (S&D), MEP S. Wiener (Greens/EFA), and the Permanent Representatives on Agriculture, Environment and
Trade to the EU.
In the letter, the stakeholders asked to deliver scalable solutions and a proportionate regulatory framework for the Sustainable Use of Plant Protection Products Regulation (SUR), which would help to further improve the practices and
sustainability of the agri-food system.
Particularly, the signatory parties asked for the:
- Proper definition and reconsideration of the ban on the use of any PPPs in sensitive areas;
- Need for a comprehensive impact assessment to of the cumulative economic, social and environmental impacts of the various targets set in the SUR proposal before taking any political or binding regulatory decisions;
- Delivery of adequate targets that are based on science and feasible for producers;
- Need to provide fair, affordable and cost-effective alternatives before withdrawing PPPs conventional products;
- Reduction of the potential burden for farmers to comply with the SUR provisions to the minimum.
Euroseeds particularly stresses the importance of the first point because a ban on PPPs in sensitive areas could have a detrimental impact on agricultural production in some Member States, thus generating an uneven playing field with a potential distortion of competition between them. Moreover, it could contribute to operational issues in vast amount of agricultural lands and to the uncontrolled development of harmful organisms.
Moreover, stakeholders call for breeders’ and farmers’ access to solutions, including biocontrol technologies, digital and precision tools, New Genomic Techniques (NGTs,) as well as resilient seed varieties will help strengthen the farmers’ toolbox and support Europe’s goal of more resilient food system.