The EBIC Code of Conduct: a commitment to science and transparency


What is the EBIC Code of Conduct for Placing Plant Biostimulants on the Market?


O ur code of conduct embodies the commitment of EBIC’s members to place plant biostimulants on the market in a way that promotes transparency and allows farmers to make informed choices about the additional benefits that biostimulants can bring to their crop management systems.

The EBIC Code of Conduct for Placing Plant Biostimulants on the Market was developed to communicate members’ commitment to operating with high ethical standards in doing business, notably:

  • Respecting all applicable laws and regulations in any given market;
  • Developing safe and effective products and providing scientific justification of these points;
  • Working with authorities to ensure fair competition and consumer protection;
  • Providing adequate information to end-users for them to make informed decisions.


How does the EBIC Code of Conduct benefit stakeholders?

  • The Code differentiates EBIC members from others in the marketplace. Customers can rely on a strong and concrete promise about how EBIC members do business.
  • The commitment of EBIC members to provide scientific justification about product claims and safety provides reassurances about product quality, even in the absence of local regulations.
  • These reassurances can help authorities, customers and consumers distinguish serious producers, and products from others who may not be operating to such stringent standards.

Does the Code prevent EBIC members from making plant protection claims for their products?


The Code of Conduct says that EBIC members “will not claim any direct plant protection effects that have not been authorised according to the regulations in effect”. This provision takes into account differing product definitions and rules for putting them on the market in different markets. The same effect might be considered a plant protection effect in one market and a biostimulants effect in another. EBIC members commit to respect local regulations and not to misuse authorisation in one market to sell products in another.

In the European Union, it is already illegal to make unauthorised plant protection claims. As a result, anyone (crop advisor or salesperson) who makes off-label claims or suggests using a non-authorised product as a plant protection product may face personal as well as professional liability for doing so.


How is the EBIC Code of Conduct implemented?


The Code represents a journey for EBIC members. The first task each company has is to look at what it needs to do to reach full compliance and what is a realistic target date for each step. This review results in an individual compliance plan that is filed with EBIC secretariat.


What happens if a company doesn’t meet its commitments?


If a complaint is filed that a company is violating its commitment:

  • The EBIC secretariat will verify that the complaint is not frivolous.
  • If the complaint seems legitimate, then, the Board will engage in a dialogue with the company to seek an amicable resolution. Most violations are unintentional (for example, inappropriate claims by marketing personnel), and companies are usually able to correct the problem through training and education.
  • If the conflict cannot be resolved amicably, an Independent Review Panel (IRP) can be convoked to investigate. This panel is made up of three stakeholders from the market in question with different perspectives, for example, a farmer, an agronomist, and a lawyer. The Independent Review Panel will submit its report to EBIC’s Board of Directors.
  • Depending on the conclusion of the IRP report, the matter may be referred to EBIC’s General Assembly for consideration. In this case, it is possible that the offender will be excluded from EBIC membership for its violation.
  • A public announcement would be released stating that the company is no longer an EBIC member and is no longer considered a party to the Code of Conduct. The company would be liable for withdrawing any mentions of its EBIC membership or adherence to the Code of Conduct that it uses in public communications

To Learn More

  • View the EBIC Code of Conduct in English
  • View the EBIC Code of Conduct in French
  • View the EBIC Code of Conduct in Spanish