Summary of the issue
From asparagus to watermelon, European farmers grow a wide range of speciality crop types that all require specific crop protection solutions. When compared to major crops – including cereals – speciality crops cover relatively small planted areas in Europe and require small amounts of a wide range of pesticides for their protection – often referred to as ‘minor uses’.
Why it's important
Authorisations for minor uses are economically unsustainable for the crop protection industry but essential for the growers of speciality crops who make an important contribution to the EU economy. In fact, the speciality crop market is valued at about €70 billion per year, equivalent to 22% of the total value of EU plant production. Significantly, minor use solutions help maintain the viability of a crop-diverse market that brings benefits for human health and agri-biodiversity. Whilst Member States already provide some support for EU minor uses, ECPA works alongside partners in the agri-food chain to promote a more permanent programme to provide funding and boost incentives for minor use solutions.