Since the EU Fertilising Products Regulation [Regulation (EU) 2019/1009 – the FPR] was published in 2019, EBIC has expressed concern about the limited scope of the positive list under Component Material Category (CMC) 7 in Annex II of the FPR, which only allows four genera of microorganisms to be used as components of microbial plant biostimulants.
There are many other microorganisms that are currently being used as components of microbial plant biostimulants, or are in the research and development phase. In fact, the Commission already submitted a consultation to the Member States and stakeholders in 2021 to gather information about these microorganisms. Now, the Commission seems to be taking a step back by launching a new EUSurvey about microbial plant biostimulants that will supposedly lead to a study to be started in 2023, which will last 2 or 3 years. EBIC members are extremely concerned about the proposed timelines, which would block access to the EU market and delay the establishment of harmonised rules for microbial plant biostimulants for several years, allowing the divergent national rules to dictate investments in innovation under uncertain circumstances for too many years while these solutions are desperately needed by EU growers.
Therefore, EBIC would like to propose two separate but ultimately convergent pathways for the development of CMC 7 that would match the ambitions of the Commission and the CEG-FP, while allowing the industry to continue investing in microbial plant biostimulants. EBIC’s proposal would be to allow access to the positive list under CMC 7 to those microorganisms that have already proven their trade potential, safety and agronomic efficiency as components of microbial plant biostimulant under national rules, while the full study of new microorganisms and materials is ongoing.