As a result of the European Parliament’s rejection of the Commission’s proposal on the Sustainable Use of Pesticide Regulation (SUR), Euroseeds believes that it is essential to develop a more structured and inclusive dialogue on agricultural technologies with the different actors involved in the implementation of the Regulation.
Euroseeds highlights the active and continuous contribution of the seed sector to reaching the overarching objectives of the Green Deal and the Farm-to-Fork Strategy. More specifically, Euroseeds stresses the importance of plant breeding and high-quality, healthy seed as a precondition for the desired further reduction of pesticide use. Therefore, appropriate specific rules and exemptions for use of plant protection products for plant breeding and seed production purposes, including in sensitive areas, are needed. In other cases, the use of treated seeds is in the only viable solution to assure that seeds are free from pests and diseases, reducing the need for farmers for further crop protection measures during plant growth. Consequently, this approach is also perfectly compatible with the objective and principles of Integrated Pest Management.
Moreover, Euroseeds supports the inclusion of some key points in relation to the sensitive areas and the IPM principles in the COMENVI report:
1. A derogation from the restriction on the use of certain categories of PPPs in a sensitive area, provided there are no economically and technically viable alternatives to safeguard the cultivation of seeds and other plant reproductive material.
2. The compatibility of the use of treated seeds with the IPM principles, under specific conditions.
On the other hand, Euroseeds still raises the importance of a total exemption of plant breeding and seed production from the reduction targets and a derogation from the ban of certain pesticides in sensitive areas for seed production.
Euroseeds Secretary General Garlich von Essen remarked:
“Assuring farmers’ access to high-quality seed that is free from pests and diseases constitutes the very foundation of sustainable agriculture. Resistant and stress-tolerant plant varieties that are the result of top-in-class science and innovation are enablers of pesticide use reduction. The seed sector remains strongly committed to contribute to this, much in line with the EU’s Green Deal and EU Farm to Fork objectives. But we still require practical tools and achievable targets to also maintain Europe’s food production. We hope the Commission’s announced strategic dialogue on the future of agriculture will foremost start as a dialogue WITH agriculture and its input sectors to assure that we agree not only on ambitious objectives but also on an economically and practically path forward to achieve them.”