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Low crop protection product use certificates (CEPPs): background, implementation and opportunities

Updated on 06/13/2018
Published on 02/16/2018

A part of the agriculture ministry’s Ecophyto II Plan, low crop protection product use certificates (CEPPs) are a participatory learning tool aimed at helping to reduce the use and impact of crop protection products by informing farmers about innovative products in the plant protection industry.

The initiative is based on action plans presenting practices and systems which help reduce the use and impact of crop protection products and quantifies average effects. Participants earn certificates for each action carried out.

The initiative is a first in the farming sector in that it imposes means-based obligations on distributors of professional-use crop protection products (referred to as “the obliged”). Every year, participants accumulate certificates by declaring what eligible actions are carried out. The number of certificates earned by 2021 will be compared with their obligations. The latter are calculated based on sales during the 2011-2015 reference period.

To acquire the required number of certificates, those under obligation must give preference to the actions listed in the catalogue of action plans published by the ministry of agriculture.

The Decrees of 9 May and 1 August 2017 validated a list of 28 plans for the initiative. During a test period due to run from 2016-2020, new actions can be added to the list by agriculture sector professionals, who can draft action plans based on innovative crop protection initiatives and practices.

An assessment committee validates the action plans and oversees the entire programme. The committee also ensures that eligible actions can be applied to any type of agricultural activity.

By Maud Blanck (INRA Paris and the Scientific Directorate for Agriculture)