In March 2016, the European Commission released draft regulation 2016/0084 (COD) laying down rules on the making available on the market of CE marked fertilising products and amending Regulations (EC) No 1069/2009 and (EC) No 1107/2009. The Commission noted as the “first reason and objective” for legislation: “virtually all fertilisers produced from organic materials, such as animal or other agricultural by products, or recycled bio-waste from the food chain [currently have difficulty accessing the Single Market]. Research, innovation and investment are currently developing rapidly, contributing to the circular economy by creating local jobs and by generating value from secondary, domestically sourced resources…”
Today, negotiators have almost reached agreement on the future regulation that will provide access to the Single Market for innovative bio-based products like plant biostimulants. Ahead of the next trilogue meeting on 20 November 2018, we would like more than ever to remind decision-makers of the raison d’être of the Commission’s legislative proposal: to provide a framework for a balanced and sustainable approach to integrated plant nutrition and soil fertility management by providing access to the Single Market for all relevant products.
The global biostimulants market is projected by some analysts to reach around USD 4.14 billion by 2025, with Europe projected to be the largest revenue-generating region compared to North America, Asia Pacific, Central and South America, and the Middle East and Africa. However, these projections assume that Europe will provide an enabling regulatory framework. If Europe fails to provide the right conditions for biostimulants to take root, it could easily lose its lead position to the USA, Brazil or China, and European farmers could lose a valuable tool to be both sustainable and globally competitive.
EBIC urges decision makers to adopt the draft fertilising products regulation according to the current state of negotiations and build in an iterative revision process to continue improving and refining the regulation.
Farmers and consumers can both benefit from if innovative products like plant biostimulants have Single Market access. Biostimulants, mineral fertilisers and other plant nutrition and soil fertility products work best for the farmer when they work together. We hope policy makers will apply the same complementarity to the regulation of these products.
Download the full letter here.