EBIC launches new manifesto at annual Summit

 

The European Biostimulants Industry Council has launched a bold new manifesto at its annual summit, calling on the European Commission for change.

As we stand at the cusp of a new EU Parliamentary mandate and Commission Work Programme for 2024-2029, it is imperative that bold and transformative actions ensure the sustainability, resilience, and competitiveness of our agricultural systems. With climate change and soil degradation posing a very real threat to food security and farmer livelihoods, EBIC’s manifesto puts forward a vision that leverages the power of plant biostimulants to address these issues head-on.

Plant biostimulants are part of the family of fertilizing products and stimulate natural plant processes; they can improve nutrient use efficiency, enhance crop quality, and increase tolerance to abiotic stressors such as drought and extreme temperatures. In an era of climate volatility, these attributes make biostimulants indispensable tools for farmers. If Europe formally adopts biostimulants, they will support farmers in their transition towards more sustainable agricultural practices, enhancing competitiveness and ensuring food security.

Climate change poses a severe threat to global food security. Plant biostimulants mitigate these risks by enhancing crop resilience to abiotic stresses such as floods, droughts, and extreme temperatures. The global biostimulants market is therefore poised for significant growth, particularly in Europe. However, to realise this potential, the EU regulatory and policy landscape must foster innovation and facilitate the adoption of these new technologies. It is crucial to reduce regulatory barriers and streamline the market entry of biostimulant products to create a level playing field for all farmers.

Farmers need access to a broader toolbox and the freedom and understanding to select the best options for their specific conditions, adapt their practices and optimize the use of agricultural inputs. The EU must invest in and leverage its agrifood ecosystem to benefit farmer livelihoods and enhance market competitiveness. By ensuring that innovative biostimulant products reach farmers promptly, we can help to close the competitivity gap between EU farmers and their global counterparts.

The geopolitical landscape underscores the need for the EU to boost its strategic autonomy in agricultural production. Plant biostimulants enhance nutrient uptake and optimize crop yields, thereby improving food security and farmer incomes. By reducing nutrient losses and maximizing the efficacy of inputs, biostimulants also help mitigate the environmental footprint of agriculture.

To ensure that farmers can fully benefit from the advantages of biostimulants, we urge EU policymakers to:

  1. Facilitate and accelerate the safe market entry of various biostimulant technologies, particularly those derived from animal by-products or containing micro-organisms.
  2. Incentivize and support the uptake of sustainable technologies such as biostimulants through targeted EU policy tools, including in the CAP.

By embracing biostimulants, we can create a sustainable, resilient, and competitive agricultural sector that meets the needs of the present and future generations.

The full manifesto is now available to download, and EBIC will continue to push for change to enable a reliable, sustainable food chain in Europe.