The “Forum on Fertilizers and Nutrients for Growth” took place in the European Parliament on the 9 December 2014. The meeting was chaired by Julie Girling (ECR, UK) alongside Vice-chairs Peter Jahr (EPP, Germany) and Jan Huitema (ALDE, the Netherlands) who together managed and contributed to a lively debate.
Pierre Bascou, Director, DG Agriculture and Rural Affairs and member of the EU Nitrogen Expert Panel, presented the rationale of this expert panel and its uniqueness by bringing together scientists, policy makers and industry representatives. He highlighted that the first mandate of the panel is to define an easily understandable Nitrogen Use Efficiency (NUE) indicator. 'The Commission', he said, “is particularly interested in tools which can be used in policy revisions like the Common Agriculture Policy”. According to Pierre Bascou, “higher Nitrogen Use Efficiency would bring benefits to the environment and economic benefits to farmers”.
David Powlson, Rothamsted Research Fellow and also member of the EU Nitrogen expert panel, emphasized the importance of a simple and widely applicable indicator of efficiency.
Claudia Olazabal, DG Environment and member of the Nitrogen expert panel, spoke on balanced fertilization and the need for farmers to be paid for the delivery of public goods.
The European fertilizer industry, represented by “Fertilizers Europe”, is a founding member of this panel and is working to promote higher NUE and more recycling of nutrients on the farm. This will bring benefit to the environment, to the farmers, and further is in line with thelong-term objectives of the industry.
Notes: The “Forum on Fertilizers and Nutrients for Growth” creates a platform for informal dialogue and debate in Brussels, for politicians, civil servants, scientists and stakeholders on the important issues related to fertilizers and other nutrients.