Plant health care in organic farming

The revision of the European legislation on “plant protection products” will be the chance to highlight the specific approach of organic farming to plant health, and IFOAM EU is already active to provide input in the REFIT process. As a system approach, plant health care in organic farming is mainly done through indirect and preventive measures internal to the agroecosystem. Where external substances are needed, inputs are limited to naturally occurring substances with a considerably lower unpredictable risk as much as possible.

To develop a more supportive legislative environment, existing regulations, especially Regulation (EU) 1107/2009 on the placement of plant protection products on the market, must be modified to meet the needs of the organic sector. This includes amongst other things:

Special registration procedures with a specific risk assessment for naturally occurring substances

  • A basic substance category to register substances whose use is of public interest, but the return of the investment is not attractive
  • Recognition of multiple uses of naturally occurring substances  
  • A special concept of “minor use” for naturally occurring substances 
  • Ensuring that all the possible precautionary measures are taken to prevent pesticide contamination

IFOAM EU opened a call for experts to participate in the new expert group for plant protection products & fertilisers to further elaborate a strategy on plant health care for organic farming. Are you interested in joining these expert groups? Continue reading about the new expert group in the section ‘IFOAM EU developments’ of IFOAM EU newsletter.

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