Innovative in nature Annual Review
Innovative in nature ECPA Annual review
Who we are...
ECPA is the pan-European voice of the crop science industry. ECPA is the Brussels-based association that represents the crop science industry in Europe, working with government policy makers, stakeholders, media and the public. Our membership consists of 19 research and development companies as well as national affiliates in 29 countries, including Central and Eastern Europe. Our member companies provide a full range of chemical and biological crop science solutions to protect food crops from disease and pests, safely and sustainably. We are committed to continuous innovation in product efficacy and safety. To found our positions in the truth, our expert teams apply their capability in a host of key scientific and technical disciplines to assemble data, pursue the facts and conduct the necessary research.
We are listeningâ€Ś
We are responding...
1. The reality of agriculture
2. Food security
3. The year of biodiversity: protecting habitats and ecosystems
4. Science-based policy and legislation
5. True sustainability
6. Our commitment to stewardship: water, farmer and consumer safety, environment
We are listening…
Society expects much of science. In 2010, promoting scientific innovation was THE priority for Europe’s policymakers – “paving the way to future success in a globalised economy and a changing environment.” Yet, at the same time there is widespread uneasiness about science. Indeed, a backlash has developed toward many disciplines including agriculture, spurred by fears about the environment and health. This is accompanied by a wish to return to simpler, pre-scientific methods. The main source of this unease lies not in the scientific solutions themselves but in the fact that the solutions are always accompanied by a strict proviso: the need for wisdom and care in the way they are applied. This duty of care is our industry’s foremost commitment. Let me explain. We are a science-based industry and innovative to the core. We are constantly adapting to new challenges, enabling farmers to resist destructive organisms that are themselves constantly adapting – and will do so more often and faster as a result of climate change. We are continually improving our products to make them safer and kinder to the environment. And we have achieved impressive results: farmers today have the best set of safe, environmentally sound tools, ever, to protect our food supply and to avoid the food crises and ecological damage that have plagued us throughout human history. Crop science has advanced as much if not more than any other sector: indeed we have helped exceed all expectations and predictions for food production. But we still have a long way to go if we are to feed a rising population and maintain a liveable planet.
Public understanding of agricultural advance is problematic in two ways: the advancements are complex and scientific in nature and they have been obscured, made unfamiliar, by the urban public’s increasing isolation from their agricultural roots. These factors are coupled with rising anxiety about the future which, accentuated by NGO activity, translates politically. Hence, the public’s concerns about food safety and the environment dominate our industry’s legislative framework. And yet, from our perspective, Europe’s safety and sustainability imperatives have, in the main, simply formalised and confirmed the path already embarked upon by our industry. This is because we do not act in isolation from societal need. We serve that need. The crop science industry has a very important message to deliver: We are listening... We are responding... We are always learning... The public’s concerns about safety and environmental effects are also our concerns; we take them to heart. Pesticide residues are a case in point. Consistently, years of government testing have detected no residues in about 2/3 of the cereal, fruits and vegetables we eat in Europe, even though pesticides are used in their production; the remainder, with very few exceptions, lies well below safety levels. We are not content with this record, however, and we think we can improve upon it. How? By increased outreach to farmers to ensure that our products are used in the way they are intended, with great care for farmers, consumers and the environment. This is what we mean by stewardship.
Our industry not only intends to lead the way in productivity, but in farmer and consumer safety, water conservation and purity as well; in fact, all facets of the careful application of our products and techniques.
This too is our goal as we help agriculture face the big challenges ahead. The FAO has made it abundantly clear that we must increase food production by 70% to feed a global population of 9 billion by 2050. We will need more food, more feed and more energy from croplands. Productivity innovation will be essential to meet this challenge because putting more land under the plough is no longer a viable option: untapped arable land supplies are dwindling and deforestation due to the expansion of farmland constitutes agriculture’s most significant environmental threat both in terms of greenhouse gas emissions and the loss of biodiversity. We’re hitting the farmland limit; even though agricultural encroachment on the remaining forests and wild lands tragically continues, unabated. 05
In meeting this challenge, our industry not only intends to lead the way in productivity, but in farmer and consumer safety, water conservation and purity as well; in fact, all facets of the careful application of our products and techniques. We will do this while working to counteract the forces that restrain farm productivity and the efficient use of limited land resources; forces that tend to increase European import dependency, stimulate farmland expansion globally and elevate food prices when reduced income is a reality for many Europeans. Here is how we will do it: We will interact with public policy makers to develop an understanding of how elected representatives can combine public interest, farmers’ needs and scientific innovation. We will place our knowledge at the service of society and, in doing so, move beyond science and technology. We will connect our competitiveness to societal needs and thus drive innovation according to our customers’ requirements and society at large, based on the principles of safety and sustainability. That’s our commitment, and you will see in the report that follows how ECPA is working to fulfil it! Jacques Du Puy ECPA President Bayer Crop Science Responsible for Bayer Crop Protection Europe
We are responding...
2010 was the year when key international policy makers began to awaken to the number one issue emerging from the collision of four global forces: population, climate, biodiversity and water. The issue is food security, which poses a critical question where is our food going to come from in coming decades and at what price to people and the planet? In attempting to answer this question, the most recent OECDFAO’s Agricultural Outlook 2010-2019 makes some startling observations. It reports very positive projections for food production growth in the US, Canada, Australia, China, India, Russia and Latin America at levels ranging from 15 to 40%, based mainly on yield increases. “In contrast, over the same period, net agricultural output in the EU-27 will have grown less than 4%.” The report goes on to say that “production in the Sub-Sahara region of Africa is expected to be stagnant in per capita terms, as production barely keeps pace with population growth still averaging around 2.2% per year. In the EU-27 production is also stagnant. Growth in consumption on a per capita basis in this region will need to be met by imports.” Incredibly, agricultural production in Europe, a continent with some of the world’s richest agricultural resources, is depicted as stagnant and on a par with one of the most desperately barren regions of the Earth! What is wrong with this picture? What are the “developments which may be generating or inhibiting food production growth” in Europe?
In 2010, designated by the UN as the Global Year of Biodiversity, ECPA stepped up its efforts to bring about a European policy focus on food productivity. We worked very hard to counter the lack of awareness that exists in Europe of the interconnections between the issues of food productivity, biodiversity, food security, scientific innovation, food prices and climate change. We demonstrated the evident need to increase agricultural productivity. We pointed to European trends toward restrictive regulations and proposals for new market mechanisms that may not support productive agriculture. We believe we are up against a critical challenge: can we strike a healthy balance between increasing food production and maintaining a healthy environment and wildlife biodiversity? Do we bring more uncultivated land, wherever it might be, into production to provide the necessary increase in Europe’s food supply? Or, do we sustainably increase food production on land already cultivated, utilising advanced technology applications including the safe use of pesticides, appropriate environmental stewardship methods for soil protection and good water management; at the same time, instituting measures to increase biodiversity on farmland and non-farmland? We don’t think there’s any argument about which choice is best: avoid putting more land under cultivation anywhere and focus on sustainable agricultural practices to increase productivity. This is confirmed when you also take on board the fact that deforestation constitutes agriculture’s most significant
Food production growth in the US, Canada, Australia, China, India, Russia and Latin America are projected at levels ranging from 15 to 40%, based mainly on yield increases. “ In contrast, over the same period, net agricultural output in the EU-27 will have grown less than 4%.”
generator of greenhouse gases. It makes productive, sustainable agriculture the best option for feeding the population, mitigating climate change, protecting the environment and preserving biodiversity. But there’s more to consider: Europe’s enormous influence on global food markets, prices and distribution must be taken into account because Europe is the world’s biggest importer of food. A recent study by the Humboldt Institute has demonstrated that reducing productivity in Europe has and will lead to expansion of land dedicated to European food needs in the developing world. The OECD-FAO report calls this process a “land grab”. The Humboldt study shows that Europe will accelerate farmland expansion if it does not increase productivity on European farms because elsewhere in the world farmland will be developed to meet EU needs. The report indicates this is already happening: right now, an area of farmland the size of Germany is serving European food needs in the developing world, risking further destruction of rainforests and other natural habitats. More of our food needs could actually be produced in Europe with a policy framework that actively supports increasing agricultural production through the sustainable use of crop science. Improving European agricultural productivity will require investment in science as well as policies that uphold EU agricultural competiveness. In this way agriculture will remain
a pillar of the EU economy. Our industry will certainly continue to invest in research and development to meet consumer needs; however a broader understanding of the reality of agriculture by policy makers and the public will be critical if “Farm Europe” is to meet the challenge of the future. Advanced crop science, as advocated by ECPA, is about increasing EU productivity sustainably. As this report details, in 2010 ECPA worked to engage policy makers and the public in a realisation that coupling a global perspective with technological innovation while training and advising European farmers to use technology sustainably, is the winning combination... for people, planet and purse! Friedhelm Schmider Director General, ECPA
1 The reality of agriculture 08
Here are the key facts: • The FAO projects that global agriculture must increase food production 70% by 2050 to feed a growing population. •
Unfortunately, in the face of this global food supply challenge agricultural production in the EU is stagnant according to the FAO. If current policy trends continue, net agricultural output in the EU-27 will grow less than 4% over the next 10 years. Meanwhile, the OECD-FAO reports very positive projections for food production growth in Australia, China, India, Russia, the US, Canada and Latin America, at levels ranging from 15 to 40%, based mainly on yield increases.
• Growth in consumption on a per capita basis in the EU will need to be met by imports from developing countries. An area outside of Europe the size of Germany is already dedicated to European food needs. The FAO report calls this a “land grab”. •
The Humboldt Institute has demonstrated that further reducing productivity in Europe implies the rapid expansion of the land dedicated to our food needs in the developing world, further alienating local food supplies, while destroying forests and other habitat.
According to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the overwhelming direct cause of deforestation is agriculture. Deforestation is agriculture’s most significant contribution to both greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the destruction of biodiversity.
Increasing agricultural productivity on the existing land base is essential to protect the environment, to conserve water, to promote biodiversity and to feed ourselves. We must avoid putting more land under cultivation anywhere and focus on sustainable agricultural practices to increase productivity. This means that Europe must do its part.
• The fact that we enjoy a steady, year-round supply of fresh produce at affordable prices is thanks to today’s professional farmer using a host of science-based methodologies, including the safe use of pesticides. • The economic competiveness of EU agriculture is essential, not only for farmers but for European society: the agro-food sector constitutes 1500 billion of European GDP and is the third largest employer. • Virtually all of the food we eat is produced using advanced crop science including the full range of chemical and biological solutions to protect food crops from diseases and pests, safely and sustainably. •
A comprehensive set of pest and disease solutions is critical to agricultural productivity. Without advanced pest management about 50% of our present food crop production would be lost. Even with the best techniques, about 30% is still lost to pests and disease, so there is plenty of room for innovation and improvement.
Farm income is declining in Europe. As a result farmers invest less and consequently become less competitive (with a subsequent further decline in their income). This detrimental cycle needs to be broken. In a time of financial instability advanced crop science contributes to the predictability and stability of the farmer’s income by increasing productivity and reducing the threat of pests and disease.
Growth in consumption on a per capita basis in the EU will need to be met by imports. An area outside of Europe the size of Germany is already dedicated to European food needs. The FAO calls this a “land grab”.
This all adds up to the incontestable truth that without the best in crop science, Europe will most certainly not measure up to the food supply challenge. The crop science industry is committed to meeting this challenge in a way that protects the environment and promotes biodiversity and not just in words but also in our actions. Through industry outreach to farmers, crop science is already leading the way in terms of sustainability. We canâ€™t do it alone, however: EU and national policies that are open to all scientifically valid options are also essential.
In 2010 ECPA was busy bringing these facts home to governments, stakeholders and the public. We related the sustainable solutions crop science offers not only to food production but also to economic recovery, nutrition, environmental sustainability, climate change adaptation, greenhouse gas reduction, biodiversity and water conservation. Events were held to demonstrate the true nature of integrated pest management and how farming can enhance biodiversity. But farming is not just about the quantity of food that can be produced. Food quality is just as important if we are to receive its nutritional benefits. In 2010, ECPA worked closely with the EU Commission on guidelines for proposed certification schemes for agricultural produce, and food and processes. We presented a reality-based position on these issues to the Commission. The ECPA team continued to publish a regular EU Health, Nutrition and Food Policy newsletter which provides updates on the shifting field of food policy and its consequences for agriculture and the food chain. Via a range of activities such as this, ECPA championed the role of European farmers and demonstrated the realities of agriculture to policymakers and opinion makers.
2 Food security
A year-round supply of affordable, high quality, health-giving food is essential to social stability and our quality of life. This means that forward-thinking food policies, which encompass the reality of agriculture, are a categorical imperative for Europeans as they come to address the food supply challenge ahead. The FAO estimates that agricultural production will need to increase 70% by 2050 to cope with a 40% increase in world population. This translates into a need for an additional one billion tonnes of cereals annually by 2050. Simply put, agriculture must grow more food to feed a growing population, while adapting to the impact of climate change, preserving biodiversity, reducing greenhouse gases, safeguarding the environment and staying within the narrowing limits of the public purse. And we must also do this on the existing agricultural land base for very good reasons. Meeting the challenge will require consistently forward-thinking food policies that are “joined up” across all perspectives: food, health, environment and economy. It also means a migration of current EU agriculture policies to a more coherent position. Currently, on the one hand the EU supports the FAO’s call for increased productivity, while on the other European governments are resisting the uptake of crop science solutions that have the potential to increase food production in a sustainable way. Openness to all helpful, scientifically valid solutions is a prerequisite to good agricultural policy and innovation. The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) will shape the future of Europe’s farming sector. Discussions on the re-shaping of CAP post-2013 are now intensifying, with ECPA playing an active role. In 2010 ECPA tracked developments and fed our interaction with policy makers. While it is for farmers themselves to help shape CAP to suit their needs, ECPA also commissioned an external report on the best direction for CAP reform in terms of enhancing European agricultural productivity, which is a key consideration. A key point for the future of CAP should be the adequate and effective transfer of innovation to farms, through training, education and advisory services to farmers.
Meeting the challenge will require consistently forward-thinking food policies that are “joined up” across all perspectives: food, health, environment and economy.
Food security has a quality dimension which underlies ECPA’s work with its food chain partners during the year. In particular, considerable progress was made to ensure a sensible approach to labelling and to raise awareness among policy makers of the potential danger of mycotoxins, fungal contaminants that can accumulate in food after harvest, as well as the treatments that are necessary to eradicate this threat to human health. The Food Chain Roundtable, co-founded by ECPA, provides a collaborative forum for the establishment of common views on a range of issues related to maintaining food quality. ECPA has joined the large and influential European Parliament Intergroup on Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development, which will provide opportunities to present the food supply perspective and the intrinsic relation between agriculture and biodiversity on a range of important debates. ECPA is also a founding member of the Knowledge4Innovation (K4I) Platform and participated in the second European Innovation Summit, held at the European Parliament, contributing to the ‘Sustainable Food Security’ session and raising awareness of the contribution of an innovative research and development industry. This event concluded that EU policy instruments should work together more coherently (e.g. CAP and Research Policy) and put more focus on an effective implementation of innovation in agriculture, which will be crucial to meet the food demand challenge, through a sustainable productivity increase. There can be no prospect for sustainable food security unless crops can be properly protected from pests and disease. ECPA continues to make sure that this simple but vital message is heard in Brussels so that European farmers will continue to have the necessary tools available to deliver consistent harvests.
3 The year of biodiversity: protecting habitats and ecosystems
2010 was designated as the International Year of Biodiversity by the United Nations, to focus attention on the need to protect habitats and conserve species. To address these issues the EU instituted its Biodiversity Action Plan as a European initiative.
Agriculture and biodiversity are inseparable. Agriculture occupies 43% of the European land area and has great significance as a factor in the biodiversity equation. It’s often overlooked that the greatest threat to biodiversity occurs through the loss of habitat due to the expansion of farmland. Policies that lead to the expansion of farmland by reducing agricultural productivity are a direct threat to biodiversity. Food pressure is going to increase as the population grows, as will the pressure to expand farmland. The best solution is to sustainably increase food production on land presently under cultivation and resist the age-old response: expand the farm base. We need more food not more farmland, and that will require innovating and integrating the discoveries of science and technology more effectively into agriculture and agricultural policies, not running away from them. A University of Leeds study has demonstrated that the best way to preserve biodiversity is to prevent farm encroachment on wild habitat by using the most productive agricultural methods available and thereby minimising the expansion of farmland. A Humboldt Institute study shows that Europe will accelerate the destruction of biodiversity-rich habitat if it reduces productivity on European farms because elsewhere in the developing world farmland will expand to meet EU needs. In 2010 ECPA stepped up its work on biodiversity issues, including productive partnerships with other organisations. For example, ECPA joined the European Landowners’ Organization on the Sense + Sustainability campaign and we have collaborated on studies of soil quality and birdlife. The ECPA team dedicated to biodiversity issues produced in 2010 a second edition of the ‘Agriculture and Biodiversity’ report, and a report titled ‘Soil Biodiversity and Agriculture’ that explores and explains the crucial contribution that soil organisms make to agricultural productivity and vice-versa.
Ecology Letters, (2010) 13: 858–869
EU Agricultural Production And Trade: Can More Efficiency Prevent Increasing ‘Land-Grabbing’ Outside Of Europe? Humboldt University Berlin, April 2010 2
Itâ€™s often overlooked that the greatest threat to biodiversity occurs through the loss of habitat due to the expansion of farmland.
ECPA also conducted a comprehensive biodiversity event for media and policy makers in the rice-growing region of the Guadalquivir estuary, south of Seville, which demonstrated how well agriculture can coexist with and indeed promote biodiversity. The farms in the region are literally interwoven with DoĂąana National Park, a world heritage site and biosphere preserve. Here agriculture and wildlife are getting along well together because farmers have come to understand the need for a healthy, balanced approach to food production. The Sevilla Rice Growers Association has worked out its farm programming in close co-operation with wildlife conservation officers. A plan is in place and rules are followed on how the farms are cultivated, chemicals are used and water is managed. Under their care, thousands of European and African migratory birds, fallow deer and other species flourish, as do the farmers and the consumers of Spanish rice. ECPA joined CropLife International and EuropaBio in presenting the Brussels edition of the Biodiversity World Tour, an innovative live/web event dedicated to exploring the interrelationship between biodiversity and agriculture. Coupling this biosphere perspective with technological innovation and training farmers to use technology sustainably is the winning position, and not just for our own species!
4 Science-based policy and legislation
Scientific innovation is seen by the European Union as vital to Europe’s economic success. But beyond the EU’s Strategy 2020 aspirations, is it really prepared to champion scientific innovation and all that it entails in agriculture? Within the EU2020 strategy, the flagship “Innovation Union” is key to achieving the goals for a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy. It aims to improve conditions and access to finance for research and innovation in Europe, to ensure that innovative ideas can be turned into products and services that create growth and jobs. In support of this concept, ECPA points to sustainable and productive agriculture as one of the key fields of action. Our industry manufactures a full array of products to increase the food productivity of our farmlands, including pesticides that, however unpopular and misunderstood, are essential to all forms of agriculture. We are a science-based industry. Innovation is our lifeblood. We are continually improving our products to make them safer and kinder to the environment. And we have achieved impressive results: farmers today have the best set of safe, environmentally sound tools, ever, to protect our food supply and to avoid the food crises and ecological damage that have plagued human beings throughout history.
Right now, EU agriculture is adjusting to meet new legislative criteria. Safety and environmental standards are obviously a good thing to which we are strongly committed. The new evaluation criteria for pesticides, however, could spell a shift away from science toward ideology, which would disconnect the EUâ€™s legislative vision from agricultural reality. As a result, the farmerâ€™s tool box for fighting plant disease could be reduced below the critical point necessary for reliable, economical food production, with no appreciable gain in health and safety. Without a comprehensive variety of crop protection alternatives pest resistance becomes a reality as the organisms quickly adapt to the repetitive use of the same active substance. Farmers need to rotate through a mix of solutions if they are to stay ahead of the pests. At stake are our food supply and high quality, affordable nutrition for all, as well as Europeâ€™s positive influence on world food security. Until now, pesticides have been regulated on the basis of risk assessment and good management. This science-based approach has been displaced in the new Regulation by an approach that focuses simplistically on hazard - the theoretical chance of harm from exposure to a material, with no regard to the actual risk of the incident happening. Simply because a substance has hazardous properties does not mean it cannot be used safely, a fact that is proven daily in every sector, including agriculture, medicine and transport. ECPA has taken part in an excellent dialogue with Commission officials on promoting a more transparent evaluation system and has managed to secure an annual working session with the Pesticides Steering Committee. It takes about 10 years to develop and authorise a new plant protection product. In the last decade, the costs associated with this process have increased by 68.4% to 1189 m per product. Given these high costs, long time lines and the critical demands of future food production, the best thing legislators can do to foster innovation in the agricultural sector is to maintain a science-based regulatory framework and keep food policy grounded in the reality of agriculture. 19
In the meantime, since approvals under the existing legislation are only granted for a fixed term, there is currently a large backlog of products in the review process for reregistration, as well as a variety of new active ingredients awaiting evaluation. ECPA was
The best thing legislators can do to foster innovation in the agricultural sector is to maintain a science-based regulatory framework and keep food policy grounded in the reality of agriculture and what R&D can actually achieve.
the first stakeholder to alert regulators to the issues of re-registration. ECPA is working constructively with the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the Commission to ensure that the approvals system is workable and an adequate defence against disease, pests and fungus continues to be available to European farmers. We aim to avoid a â€œcrop protection crunchâ€? where regulation defeats agriculture in the crop fields of Europe. The new regulatory apparatus, coupled with the Common Agriculture Policy, makes it possible for legislators to further restrain farm productivity and the efficient use of limited land resources, to increase import dependency, stimulate farmland expansion and elevate food prices when reduced income is a reality for many Europeans. We believe it is time to place the maintenance of an affordable supply of healthy food, grown in Europe back on the policy balance and to use the best science to determine the tradeoffs.
With guidelines for the implementation of the new Regulation not yet complete, in 2010 ECPA worked hard to ensure a pragmatic approach. We formed teams to deal with specific elements such as the zonal system and Annex 1 renewal, and are currently updating our impact assessment. The actual impact will depend on the final definition of endocrine disruption, and ECPA is working to promote a reasonable and workable legislative solution that ensures safety while maintaining an adequate range of crop protection solutions. A related piece of legislation that cannot be ignored is REACH. Active ingredients that have been approved under Directive 91/414 fulfil the REACH registration requirements, but co-formulants that also have other uses do not. The ECPA team supported companies by setting up the REACH-IN project to develop common technical standards, and disseminated the results. This is another contribution to helping European farmers retain access to a range of effective crop protection products. While good crop protection is essential to food production, farmers and industry are also acutely aware of the need to protect human health and the environment through the safe use of our products. Our stewardship activities are continuous and proactive, working closely with farmers, training and advising them on best practices adapted to local settings. The Framework Directive on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides is due to be enacted into national law by September 2011, and the ECPA team and its network are working with national authorities to ensure effective, pragmatic implementation. While ECPA has played an important role in the EU for many years, the needs of recent accession states in Central and Eastern Europe (and neighbouring, non-EU countries) are also being addressed. In 2010 we gave active support to newly-formed and emerging trade associations in these countries via our dedicated Central and Eastern Europe Policy and Regulatory Teams. ECPA continued to assist in the correct interpretation and implementation of EU legislation, in harmonising local legislation with EU legislation and the formation of new associations as legal entities. This support will continue until the new national associations are fully-fledged members of ECPA and able to deal with all their local issues.
5 True sustainability
The EU definition of sustainability states that to be sustainable a collective human activity must meet society’s SOCIAL, ENVIRONMENTAL and ECONOMIC needs. In other words, the 3-P’s must be addressed: PEOPLE, PLANET and PURSE. Agriculture spans all three as a social requirement, an environmental influence and a critical aspect of the European economy. Food, however, fulfils an even deeper requirement in that a regular, affordable, nutritious supply of food is a precursor to any other human activity or consideration. It fulfils a fundamental biological imperative and sustains the physical and mental foundation on which the social, environmental and economic pillars are built. History has shown that unless the food supply of a population is met, all other considerations - whether social, environmental or economic - will be swept aside. That’s how important food policy is. It is apparent that the divergence of interests in the food policy debate - like those of advanced science versus organic agriculture - is, upon closer inspection, largely superficial and mostly political. In the context of a steadily increasing population, most thinkers actually agree on the basic need to increase food production while addressing related issues including nutrition, food price, biodiversity, and climate change. In 2010 ECPA made it a central commitment to ensure an ongoing, broad-based and progressive dialogue on sustainable food security that considers these key issues. We see this as the most promising path for achieving agreement on a sustainable course of action for Europe.
The Sustainable Use Directive is the most immediate legislative issue, and ECPA is working to guide and support its implementation at national level, to ensure that it does not disadvantage farmers and other users. In parallel with this, the team has continued to promote best practice among users and to improve public understanding of the important role played by crop protection. Central to the overall theme of sustainability is the need to avoid isolated policy action in one sector of the food policy debate which may have negative, albeit unintended, consequences elsewhere. For example, a European policy which reduces the crop technology options upon which farmers rely for improving food productivity will run the potential risk of driving up food prices, decreasing food availability, and forcing increased European reliance on food imports, further jeopardising both European and global food security. Considering these risks, bringing the food policy discussion to a level that effectively encompasses the concerns of all stakeholders in this area could very well be one of the most urgent and important challenges in establishing a sustainable European food security policy.
A regular, affordable, nutritious supply of food is a precursor to any other human activity or consideration. It fulfils a fundamental biological imperative and sustains the physical and mental foundation on which the social, environmental and economic pillars are built.
Achieving this goal is a high priority for ECPA. Sustainability has and will continue to be the guiding light of our industry. The sustainability directives have been welcomed by ECPA as they formalise our existing and ongoing commitment. In fact we were able to bring our expertise to the table during their development. ECPA continues to guide and support the implementation of the Sustainable Use Directive at the national level to ensure that due consideration is given to the role of crop protection. This is because securing a safe, affordable food supply cannot be done without advanced crop protection. We continue to promote this view in discussions on the future CAP reform and in promoting Integrated Pest and Crop Management approaches. For example, a common view on IPM, developed by ECPA in co-operation with seven other food chain partners, has been widely distributed to Commission officials and is already being used at the national level. ECPA called upon representatives from the food chain and policy community to form a European partnership to map ways to ensure the future of European specialty crops. The key mission of the initiative is to ensure that these important food crops get the protection they deserve and are not left as “orphans” by the regulatory process: the reality of market return versus the high cost of research and development does not hold a bright future for them at the moment. Specialty crops don’t cover a significant farmland area or product volume but are much valued in the diet of Europeans. They include asparagus, endives, carrots, raspberries, cherries and many other fruits and vegetables. Amateur gardeners and professionals outside the agricultural sector also use our products. ECPA’s Gardening and Amenity Product Expert Group works with our partners on policy and legislative issues and has developed an informational presentation for the ECPA website. ECPA representatives sit on the Advisory Board of ENDURE (the European Network for the Durable Exploitation of Crop Protection Strategies). While funding is now coming to an end, several members of the consortium are continuing to maintain the website and have applied for resources for an Integrated Pest Management project. The Crop Science Industry is prepared to contribute its full innovative capacity to help formulate and execute a far-reaching European food security policy that addresses the food demands of our growing population. Europe supports the FAO’s call for increased food productivity, and our industry is prepared to deliver the technology to allow this to happen in a sustainable way. We look forward to continued participation in European food security dialogue, and ongoing contributions to European and global food security.
6 Our commitment to stewardship: water, farmer and consumer safety, environment 24
Our industry upholds the fact that a manufacturer’s duty does not end once the product has been sold to the farmer. This is realised and validated by our stewardship programmes. ECPA and its members undertake a range of activities to ensure that not only is the product used as intended, but that the chance of accidental misuse is minimised and follow-up activities, such as packaging disposal, are carried out in a sustainable way. Further, ECPA is also helping enforcement officials to ensure that the sustainability maxim is not undermined by pesticide counterfeiting. One of the biggest issues confronting agriculture is water supply, quality and conservation. Concerns about pesticides in drinking water and their effect on sensitive aquatic organisms must be met by the prevention of spray drift, spillage and leaching. ECPA has established itself as a leader in this field through programming that has made a real difference. The case in point is TOPPS (Training Operators to Prevent Pollution from Point Sources) that was co-funded by the EU-Life programme and ran from 2005-2008. In 2010, TOPPS was selected for a ‘Best Life-Environment Project’ award. Our commitment did not stop when TOPPS completed its task. The Bridge project was designed in 2009 to continue disseminating the information gained from the TOPPS project and ran through 2010 to prepare the ground for the PROWADIS project (to PROtect Water from Diffuse Sources), which will commence in 2011. Work accomplished includes a concept for an ‘Environmentally Optimised Sprayer’. At the other end of the usage chain, there is also a need to dispose properly of empty containers. Recovery of post-use agrochemical containers is a key part of our stewardship activities. Collection schemes are already in place in eight European countries, with more to follow. However, this waste is currently classified as hazardous and so cannot be recycled. ECPA is working with local associations in Spain, Romania and Poland
Our industry upholds the fact that a manufacturer’s duty does not end once the product has been sold to the farmer. This is realised and validated by our stewardship programmes.
to get properly rinsed containers classified as non-hazardous as a first step towards recycling and further improving the sustainability of the supply chain. The Packaging and Transport Expert Team is also promoting the establishment of sustainable recycling options for collected containers. Farmer safety is a top priority for our industry. The implementation of the Sustainable Use Directive will place obligations on Member States to establish formal training certification schemes for crop protection users and suppliers which are fully supported by our programming. The industry is well ahead of the game, with the Safe Use Initiative operating in Spain, Portugal, Greece, France, Italy and Poland, and implementation well under way in five other countries. The material developed forms a package that can be adapted in all countries needing training modules. Despite the intensive safety testing and stringent regulatory requirements, many consumers remain concerned about pesticide residues. EFSA’s annual report showed once again that the majority (nearly two-thirds) of foods sampled with the most advanced methods contained no detectable residues and the majority of the remainder were well within safety limits, thus having absolutely no implications for human health. ECPA and the industry is working to improve on this excellent record through stewardship programmes which reach out to farmers to make sure the products are used as intended. Counterfeit pesticides constitute one of the biggest threats to the EU’s aspirations toward sustainability in agriculture. It is not enough to regulate legitimate industries – effective enforcement is essential. Strict and practical measures must be put in place to prevent the criminal importation and use of counterfeits which pay no heed to any considerations of human or environmental health or that of the farm economy. ECPA’s anti-counterfeiting efforts were recharged in 2010 and achieved significant success working with customs officials in the seizure of tons of counterfeit pesticides. ECPA is actively engaged in four key areas of prevention. The first target is the country of origin, to make sure authorities and manufacturers are fully aware of the risk of aiding and abetting illegal pesticide activity. Next we are working to ensure that the shipper bears responsibility in law for the import of counterfeit products. Within the EU, we are working to improve inadequate legislation and enforcement. In spring, roundtable discussions were held between stakeholders in Russia and German customs and police. Activities such as this will help to reinforce the barriers to imports of counterfeit products into the EU. Finally we are reaching out to farmers to raise awareness of the threat and discourage the purchase of illegal products that threaten their crops, their region’s reputation and their health.
In 2010 ECPA continued its efforts to connect the dots in the EU’s picture of agriculture and food. We are a science-based organisation, and in 2010 we continued to build upon a reality-based foundation of scientific fact, rather than ideology, opinion or conjecture. We are determined that the whole picture of agriculture be perceived by the public and legislators, so that European agriculture, environment and food policies can be shaped more coherently to the benefit of all Europeans, both in the short and long term, incorporating a detailed understanding of how we fit into the global landscape. We also strengthened our relationships with fellow stakeholders in the agriculture and food sectors so that we can better contribute our knowledge resources to the discussion, form a common understanding, and secure a sustainable win for all. Our stewardship programmes have stepped to the fore, demonstrating in concrete form the industry’s commitment to farmer and consumer health, water purity, environmental protection, and to meet the public’s expectations. Most importantly, we demonstrated conclusively that upholding productive and competitive agriculture in Europe is vitally important to the EU’s contribution to food security, biodiversity, climate change, the environment and human health. We invite you to spread the word!
CEE Affairs Manager
Governmental Affairs Manager
Regulatory Affairs Manager
Director Food and Agricultural Affairs
CEE Affairs Assistant Manager
Regulatory Affairs Director
Food Affairs Adviser
Science & Technical Affairs Manager
Senior Manager Communications
Senior Manager Corporate Operations
Director Environmental Affairs
Our member associations and member companies
Corporate Member Companies (full member)
Associations (associate member)
• BASF • Bayer CropScience • Dow AgroSciences • DuPont de Nemours • Makhteshim Agan Europe • Monsanto Europe • Syngenta
• Bulgaria - (BgCPA) Bulgarian Crop Protection Industry Association • Croatia - (CROCPA) Croatian Crop Protection Association • Cyprus - Cyprus Crop Protection Association • Czech Republic - (CCPA) Czech Crop Protection Association • Hungary - (HuCPA) Hungarian Crop Protection Association • Lithuania - (LCPA) Lituanian Crop Protection Association • Poland - (PSOR) Polskie Stowarzyszenie Ochrony Roślin • Portugal - (ANIPLA) Associação National da Indústria para a Proteçção das Plantas • Romania - (AIPROM) Romanian Crop Protection Association • Russian Federation - (AEB) Association European Businesses • Slovak Republic (SCPA) Slovak Crop Protection Association • Slovenia - (SLOCPA) Slovenian Crop Protection Association • Switzerland - (SGCI Chemie Pharma Schweiz) Swiss Society of Chemical Industries • Turkey - (ZIMID) Zirai Mücadele Ilaclari Űreticileri Dernegi • Ukraine - (EBA Agrochemical Committee) European Business Association
Associate & SME Member Companies (associate member) • Arysta LifeScience • Certis Europe • Cheminova • Chemtura Europe • FMC • Gowan Company • ISK Biosciences • Janssen Pharmaceutica • Nufarm • SIPCAM • Stähler International • Sumitomo Chemical
Associations (full member) • Austria - (FCIO) Fachverband der Chemischen Industrie Oesterreichs • Belgium - (PHYTOFAR) Association Belge de l’Industrie des Produits Phytosanitaires, Belgische Vereniging voor de Industrie van Phytosanitaire Producten • Denmark - (DCPA) Danish Crop Protection Association • France - (UIPP) Union des Industries de la Protection des Plantes • Germany - (IVA) Industrieverband Agrar eV • Greece - (HCPA) Hellenic Crop Protection Association • Ireland - (APHA) Animal and Plant Health Association • Italy - (AGROFARMA) Associazione Nazionale Imprese Agrofarmaci • Netherlands - (NEFYTO) Nederlandse Stichting voor Fytofarmacie • Scandinavia* • Spain - (AEPLA) Asociación Empresarial para la Protección de las Plantas • UK - (CPA) Crop Protection Association *
Scandinavian membership made up of 3 associations: • Finland - (KASTE) Kasvinsuojeluteollisuus ry • Sweden - (IVT) Industrin för Växt-och Träskyddsmedel • Norway - (NPF) Norsk Plantevern Forening
GAPEG Member Companies (non-agriculture) • BASF • Bayer Environmental Science • COMPO • DOW AgroSciences • Monsanto Europe • Neudorff • Nufarm • Scotts France • Syngenta
GAPEG Member Association (non-agriculture) • Belgium - (PHYTOFAR) Association Belge de l’Industrie des Produits Phytosanitaires, Belgische Vereniging voor de Industrie van Phytosanitaire Producten • UPJ (France) -Union des entreprises pour la protection des jardins et espaces verts
We will interact with public policy makers to develop an understanding of how elected representatives can combine public interest, farmers’ needs and scientific innovation. We will place our knowledge at the service of society and, in doing so, move beyond science and technology. We will connect our competitiveness to societal needs and thus drive innovation according to our customers’ requirements and society at large, based on the principles of safety and sustainability.
For more information, please contact: ECPA aisbl 6 Avenue E. Van Nieuwenhuyse 1160 Brussels - Belgium Tel: Fax: E-mail:
+32 2 663 15 50 +32 2 663 15 60 email@example.com