How Brexit might impact on UK plant protection

What the future may hold for Plant Protection Products (PPPs) in the UK is explored in the latest edition of AHDB’s Horizon reports. The new AHDB report published today looks at the various pieces of legislation impacting the use of PPPs in the UK and puts forward four broad options for post-Brexit regulation. PPPs currently go through a harmonised process throughout Europe, with active substances receiving general approval at EU level and specific product uses controlled at national level. Strict hazard-based criteria mean about 58 per cent of applications are rejected by the EU, which has implications in terms of time and associated costs. In addition, both the number of available PPPs and their efficacy are being pressured by an increasingly challenging regulatory environment and the growing resistance of pests, diseases and weeds to products now on the market.

This latest Horizon publication also outlines what standards the UK is committed to under various international agreements on human, animal and plant health and how these may affect future regulation, as well as the consequences for trade.

Sarah Baker, AHDB Senior Analyst, who penned the report, said: “There is immense complexity in this area of regulation in terms of the UK’s obligations at both EU and international level. Although plant protection may not be at the top of the priority list for negotiators, the continued supply of safe and nutritious food is of fundamental importance and these products are often key to growing healthy and profitable crops.

“In the short term, it is likely not much will change as wider Brexit issues are more likely to take precedence but the industry cannot treat it as business as usual. The UK must start thinking about what it needs to achieve through plant protection and what might be gained from a new regulatory framework. This will involve balancing myriad interests, including the UK’s reputation in the global marketplace, how UK farming and growing businesses remain economically viable, environmental considerations and customer preference.”

To download ‘Horizon: What will happen to Plant Health and Plant Protection Product regulations after Brexit?’ visit www.ahdb.org.uk/brexit