EBIC held its General Assembly on 15 November, in which members voted to elect Alice Toderi (Hello Nature) into the role of Director-at-Large and re-elect David Hiltz (Acadian Plant Health) as Director-at-Large. Nicolas Willaume (ICL) has stepped down after serving four years as Director-at-Large, with the remainder of the Board remaining in-post. These individuals are President Arne Pingel (Syngenta), Vice-President Carlos Rodríguez-Villa Förster (AlgaEnergy), Treasurer Massimo Toni (Agronutrition) and Directors-at-Large Dr Thomas Leppin (Compo Expert), and José Nolasco (Rovensa Next).
The field was particularly competitive this year. EBIC extends their thanks for the candidates’ willingness to volunteer their talents, time, and energy to the association.
EBIC has confirmed that its 2024 workplan will be based on four fundamental building blocks:
It is imperative that a harmonised European market is developed and it is a fundamental principle of EBIC’s work plan that all plant biostimulant technologies should have equal access to the market.
President Arne Pingel tells us, “Throughout 2023, we have made great strides in establishing political awareness of the missed opportunities resulting from the exclusion of microbial plant biostimulants in the FPR. We are working to address this as well as continuing to gain the same recognition for phosphites and animal by-products to assure they all have equal access to the single market.”
“EBIC will continue to push for regulatory recognition for biostimulants in legal frameworks, including the opportunities offered by the Soil Monitoring Law and the CAP National Strategic Plans. By the end of 2024, there will be a new European Commission. It is our intention to ensure we maintain our political outreach to MEPs, keeping an open dialogue with Brussels on behalf of our members.”
As always, EBIC has committed to continued engagement with stakeholders, and EBIC’s “Farm to Fork” project team will continue to collaborate with national bodies, industry associations and relevant businesses to raise awareness of biostimulants.
Arne Pingel continues, “Our 2024 workplan calls for an even stronger emphasis on our educational outreach, engaging all the more with farmers and food chain stakeholders, broadening and deepening our relationships and collaboration to showcase the power of biostimulants and the role that they play in sustainable food production. With several key events already in the diary for the coming year, we will have opportunities to showcase the work of EBIC and our members and network, cooperate and engage with stakeholder groups. For example, our High-Level Summit in 2024 will feature speakers and panellists from right across the food supply chain.”
Although EBIC’s focus has been on the European single market, it is committed to ensuring a fair market for plant biostimulants globally.
“It is important that the definitions of plant biostimulants used around the globe converge around the same fundamentals,” states Pingel, “EBIC was instrumental in developing the definition and the regulation used in Europe and we are committed to sharing that experience to help other countries create their own biostimulants regulations. Collaborating with our peers in other regions, including engaging with inter-governmental organisations, will create opportunities for common ground so that biostimulants manufacturers can market their products around the world using the same protocols and efficacy evidence.
“I don’t think the full potential of biostimulants has yet been fathomed. We are still going through cycles of innovation, finding the best positioning and helping farmers realise the return on investment possible with these technologies. Biostimulants are as important to crop productivity as seeds, nutrition and crop protection products.
“We have much to continue with into 2024 and beyond and look forward to updating and supporting the biostimulants industry as we do.”