The European Crop Protection Association (ECPA) has announced this week that it will now operate as CropLife Europe, expanding its mandate to include digital and precision farming, plant biotech innovation and biopesticides alongside conventional pesticides.
The organisation acknowledged that the change had come at a time when EU policymakers and governments were increasingly calling on the agri-food system to transition to a more sustainable model.
“We believe this is best achieved through a holistic approach, so an agile association representing a host of technologies under one roof will be better equipped to represent the integrated solutions needed to deliver sustainable agriculture and respond to the rapidly changing demands from society and evolving policy frameworks,” said CropLife Europe director general Géraldine Kutas.
“We believe that producing enough food sustainably cannot be achieved by simply reducing the availability of solutions to farmers," she outlined. "Instead we need to accelerate the development of new, better solutions and enhanced farming practices that utilise more technology to produce our food while using less resource."
To this end, CropLife Europe said that its members would continue to invest in research and development, expanding its focus on innovation to support the production of food for all in a fair and sustainable way.
“The European Commission’s Green Deal is a real game changer,” CropLife Europe’s newly appointed chairman of the association Livio Tedeschi (BASF) said. “Together with the EU Farm to Fork Strategy and the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, it provides us all with a great opportunity to deliver more sustainable agriculture; to ensure that the EU supports the delivery of the UN Sustainable Development Goals; and to further strengthen food security not only in Europe, but globally.
"We want our industry to be part of the solution that will help deliver the EU Green Deal," Tedeschi added. "We will play our part and hope that other stakeholders will join us in driving these crucial topics forward.”