The NFU, CPA and AIC's campaign for sound, science-based regulation of plant protection products has been taken to MEPs and Commission delegates in Brussels.
The Healthy Harvest campaign is backed by a report by Andersons, and concludes there are severe impacts on UK agriculture and the wider economy from the loss or restriction of products due to over-precautionary EU regulation:
The domestic production of iconic British foods such as frozen peas, apples and carrots could be drastically reduced
Up to 44,000 jobs in the associated workforce could be lost
Agriculture’s contribution to the economy could drop by 36 per cent (£1.6bn)
A report commissioned by AHDB strengthened these findings with scientific analysis of the potential impact of reduced availability of PPPs as a result of overly precautionary definitions of endocrine disruptors. The worst case scenario was a farmgate value loss of £3.3billion.
The organisations’ key asks for MEPs and EU regulators are for regulation to be risk-based, considering dose and exposure, and for the impact of loss of active ingredients in PPPs to be considered, so it’s aligned with the regulation of other chemistry.
NFU Vice President, Guy Smith said: “We have been warning that in the lifetime of the current European Parliament, we would face significant threats to PPPs. With this in mind, informing MEPs and Commission staff who write and influence the regulation imposed on UK and EU farmers is a vital part of the Healthy Harvest campaign.
“British farmers are increasingly lacking the plant and crop protection tools, causing problems that their competitors outside of Europe don’t have. Many retailers, as well as the most of the food industry, look to cheaper imports globally from farms which use PPPs not allowed in the UK and the EU.
“If regulators continue to stifle British food production through bad regulation then they are exporting our agricultural production capabilities to those parts of the world which have a less hostile attitude to food production.”