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Brussels, Belgium - During a few days in mid-June, a delegation of over 50 crop protection industry and authority representatives together with farmers from various European countries gather in Sinaia, Romania, for a conference on the safe and sustainable use of pesticides.
Each year the conference is organized in one of the countries implementing ECPA’s European crop protection industry-initiated Safe Use Initiative (SUI) – a program designed to provide farmers and operators with an easy to use toolbox to successfully increase crop protection user safety. This year the conference has been organized by AIPROM (The Romanian Crop Protection Association) together with the Romanian Ministry of Agriculture.
Participants will have the opportunity to learn and exchange views and experiences on all aspects of applying plant protection products in a safe and sustainable way. The conference also includes a farm visit in the region, where participants will have the chance to see the practical implementation of the SUI principles.
“SUI has enjoyed continued success over the past years. “In Romania, the SUI training manual produced by the AIPROM was endorsed with the logo of the Romanian Ministry of Agriculture and University of Agronomy in Bucharest. This will increase SUI awareness and hopefully have an enormous impact on farmer’s uptake of the recommendations” said Yves Picquet, President of AIPROM.
In Slovakia, where the SUI program is also established, the Slovakian Crop Protection’s Association’s video- guide comprising of 16 clips on how to properly use pesticides has been endorsed by the Slovakian Ministry of Agriculture and is now the official video-manual from application techniques to proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and disposal of the containers.
The SUI recommendations have not only been appreciated by European authorities. In France, during the 2012 International Exhibition of Agriculture, farmers awarded UIPP (The French Crop Protection Association) and partners for its risk awareness campaign ‘un tel outil de travail, ca se protege’. “This campaign highlights not only one of the key elements of basic Personal Protective Equipment, i.e. the need of gloves when handling crop protection products, but also risk management and prevention on farm. We are very proud to have received this award and of being positively recognized by the farming community” – commented Jean-Charles Bocquet, the Director General of UIPP.
“In the ten years that our network has been running the Safe Use Initiative project we have seen a great impact and uptake of the recommendations. Today we are running SUI it in 12 countries and the intention is to share the SUI principles with all Member States. Farmer and operator health is key, and the easy to apply measures of the SUI contribute to a vibrant sustainable agriculture sector” – Friedhelm Schmider, Director General of the European Crop Protection Association (ECPA) concluded.
Image Courtesy of Herald Post