We represent the crop protection industry in Europe; innovative and science-based, our solutions keep crops healthy and contribute to providing Europeans with a safe, affordable, healthy, and sustainable food supply. We promote modern farming practices and champion the use of crop protection technology important for the sustainable intensification of agriculture. Our awareness raising and stewardship activities further the safe and sustainable use of pesticides in Europe, encouraging management practices that safeguard harvests, human health, and the environment.
ECPA acts as the ambassador of the crop protection industry in Europe and represents the industry's European regional network. We promote modern agricultural technology in the context of sustainable development, one which protects the health of humans and the environment, and, in doing so, seek to build understanding of our role on why pesticides are needed, recognition of our contribution towards an affordable healthy diet, competitive agriculture and high quality of life, and uphold informed dialogue about our views, values and beliefs.
- We represent our industry in relevant European fora, towards our major stakeholders and the wider public.
- We lead and co-ordinate a European network of member companies and national associations, who act as our local representatives.
- We endeavour to listen and learn from our stakeholders and the public, and seek to understand their interests, views and perspectives.
ECPA advocates EU policies and legislation that uphold a science and risk-based approach, foster innovation, operate in a predictable and proportionate way, enable the industry to perform efficiently, protect intellectual property and reward the introduction of new technologies and practices, as well as safeguard the production of crops from pests in a way that meets the needs of all people, today and tomorrow.
The ECPA network upholds high standards for human safety and environmental care in European agriculture, based on sustainable, productive, value-added, innovative and scientific farming methods.
- Openness – We promote and value dialogue with all stakeholders
- Proactivity – We take the initiative on issues of concern to Society
- Cooperation– We work with stakeholders as partners
- Responsibility – We take responsibility for the safe and sustainable use of our industry’s products through farmer education and training
- Transparency – We are open and transparent about our aims and policies
We are committed to:
- protecting and conserving water resources by introducing innovative crop protection solutions and promoting sustainable agricultural practices.
- contributing significantly to a healthy, high quality, affordable food supply for all by maintaining plant health, increasing plant productivity and improving farm practices.
- enhancing biodiversity and natural habitats within farming landscapes, by using our expertise in plant protection and agricultural practices to promote local harmony between nature and agriculture.
- safe-guarding the health of farmers and the public by introducing innovative technologies and promoting best safe-use practices.
- earning public trust in our industry and in the regulatory process, by increasing transparency and setting industry standards that align to current scientific norms to address societal concerns.
Farmers and growers can call on a great deal of advice to help them choose the right crop protection. Many take advice from a qualified agronomist. Product labels also provide essential advice such as dose rates, varieties, timing of applications, details of the pests controlled, safety precautions and the time which must be left between spraying and harvest.Increasingly too, threshold levels are being determined for the major weeds and insect pests. For example, for weeds such as cleavers, just a few plants per square metre will have a damaging effect on the crop, so spraying is essential. For others such as poppies, the number of plants that can be tolerated is much higher.
The farmer can also call on technology, in particular computerised decision-support systems. These include global positioning satellite (GPS) systems to help map their fields in terms of yield performance, and sophisticated monitoring equipment such as potato blight monitors that track weather conditions and predict when blight is likely to strike.These tools all help to make product application more and more precise. Research into Integrated Crop Management (ICM) systems is also contributing to the development of precision farming. A better understanding of the complex interactions between soil type, crop variety, climate and crop nutrition, means that pesticides can be applied at the very best time - and therefore at lower doses.
So how is the product applied? Although some are applied as seed treatments, most are diluted in water and sprayed onto crops. This is not as easy as it might sound. If you were asked to spread a teaspoonful of sugar evenly over a large field you would probably think it is impossible. However, this is often what is required when a farmer applies crop protection products.
Precision is the key. Imagine a farmer applying a fungicide to a crop of wheat. The amount of active ingredient in the pack is stated on the label as 50%. The product is to be applied at a rate of 1 litre per hectare diluted in 200 litres of water. This means that every square metre of the field must receive 0.05 grams of active ingredient. Assuming there are 300 plants per square metre, each plant will receive just 0.00017 grams.
Food sustains life, and a balanced diet helps control health. Food security, the ready availability of nutritious food and the health that it promotes, are often taken for granted in Europe, with little thought given to the processes and practicalities of modern food production - farming.The definition of food security has been refined in the recent years. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) (as defined during the World Food Summit 1996), food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.
We represent the crop protection industry in Europe. Our members develop innovative and science-based solutions that keep crops healthy and contribute to provide Europeans a safe, affordable, healthy, and sustainable food supply.
We encourage sustainable farming practices and the responsible use of crop protection technology important for the sustainable intensification of agriculture.
We believe policy should be informed by science and designed to manage risk. We advocate for a predictable and proportionate EU regulatory environment that fosters innovation and encourages competitiveness.
We listen and learn from stakeholders and the public, and engage in dialogue on key topics to better understand the interests, views and perspectives of others working towards sustainable agricultural productivity.
We deliver awareness raising and stewardship activities for the safe and sustainable use of pesticides in Europe, encouraging management practices that safeguard harvests, human health, and the environment.