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Europe’s crop protection industry (ECPA) has adopted a set of ambitious commitments to support Europe’s new Green Deal, including an investment of over €14 billion in new technologies and more sustainable products by 2030. In addition to this investment, ECPA also plans to ramp up waste collection and increase the levels of training among farmers in Europe as part of its response to the EU’s Farm to Fork and Biodiversity strategies.
European Crop Protection Association Director General Géraldine Kutas said: “With its ambitious European Green Deal, the European Commission has fired the starting gun for the EU’s run towards a more sustainable, climate-neutral future.
“We are serious about contributing and aligning with the Green Deal policy initiatives which is why our companies have joined together to set our own voluntary, sector-specific, measurable goals in their support.”
The six commitments adopted by ECPA will guide the sector for the next decade in key areas of agricultural innovative technologies, the circular economy and better protection of people and the environment:
• Innovation & Investment: By supporting innovation and the deployment of digital and precision tools as well as biopesticides, we further the European Commission’s ambition of a digital and green recovery. By 2030 we will be investing €10 billion into innovation in precision and digital technologies and €4bn into innovation in biopesticides. All the investment the industry is committing to is only useful if there is the appropriate regulatory framework allowing the innovation to reach the European farmers.
• Circular Economy: By increasing the collection rate of the empty pesticides plastic containers to 75% and establishing a collection scheme in the EU member states that currently have none by 2025, we will contribute to the EU’s goal of a circular economy that aims at minimizing waste and resources used, lessening the environmental impact of plastic packaging.
• Protecting People & Environment: By training farmers on the implementation of Integrated Pest Management, water protection and the importance of personal protective equipment (PPE), our industry desires to further minimize exposure and reduce the risks of pesticide use, all while contributing to the overall goals of the Sustainable Use Directive and EU Farm to Fork strategies aiming at producing enough food sustainably.
Kutas added: ”We all agree on the direction of travel, what’s important now is making those deliberate steps to reach the end goal. “These commitments will be challenging for our companies to deliver on. However, we are committed to deliver on what we have set out for and call on the European Commission to support sustainable agriculture with appropriate regulatory framework allowing the innovation to reach the farmers.
“This is just the beginning, we will be tracking our industry’s progress over the decade and sharing transparently how far we have come,” she concluded.