Agriculture is changing rapidly. Despite growing consumer demand for more sustainable processes and products, the sector continues to develop innovative technologies. As a result, biostimulants, fertilizers and basic mineral supplements remain the most appealing for European farmers. That is why the European Commission has launched a standardization process to provide a clear framework for all organizations involved in this new industry.
The use of biostimulants is no longer limited to organic production and high-value crops. They are increasingly used in most countries of the world. Conventional biostimulant manufacturers have already taken control of the market to meet the demands of the economy and sustainable development. Such a rapid evolution was impossible not to notice. European institutions have been negotiating with manufacturers for three years, the result of which are new rules published on June 5, 2019. Thus, the EU became the first public body in the world to recognize biostimulants as a separate category of agricultural resources, which was a significant step towards creating sustainable agriculture. The only problem is the absence of standards for this product category.
To solve this problem, the EU established a technical standardization committee CEN / TC 455 – “Plant biostimulants”. CEN / TC 455 is developing a set of more than 30 standards that will cover topics such as sampling procedures, labeling, safety requirements and methods for testing biostimulants. The content of these standards will be very important for the free movement of goods in the common EU market and the improvement of agriculture in general. In addition, it will stimulate the development of the economy. Improving the resilience of systems and the reuse of raw materials, which are currently being disposed of as waste, are key principles of European policy. But the existence of diverging national rules and standards makes it difficult for manufacturers to sell and use fertilizers on a single European market. The situation will change soon. In addition, the International Organization for Standardization ISO is actively involved in both development processes, since it is very likely that these new European standards will form the basis of future ISO standards.
Who will benefit from these harmonized European standards?First, consumers: from farmers to end users. For example, farmers will get a better return on investment from fertilizers and biostimulants while reducing nutrient loss. In the meantime, end-users will receive more guarantees regarding the minimal environmental impact of agricultural activities. The industry itself will also benefit from harmonized standards. Organizations will be able to verify that domestic and other legal requirements in different countries are being followed. This is one of the reasons why the European Council for the Biostimulator Industry is actively involved in the work of the standardization committee CEN / TC 455. The third group, which will reap the benefits of standardization, is the official and private audit and control bodies, which will now have have a solid foundation to work with. Finally, the European Commission’s policy on a single market and entrepreneurship will be more credible.
For the successful and high-quality completion of the work of CEN / TC 455, close cooperation has been established between the CEN and ISO technical committees:
CEN / TC 223 “Soil Improvers and Culture Media”;
CEN / TC 260 “Fertilizers and calcareous materials”;
CEN / TC 454 “Algae and algae products”;
CEN / TC 444, Test Methods for the Environmental Characterization of Solid Matrices;
ISO / TC 34 / SC 9 “Microbiology of the food chain”;
ISO / TC 134 “Fertilizers, soil conditioners and nutrients.”The System of International Certification is constantly in contact with European institutes and standardization committees, which work in various sectors of the economy. We always inform our customers about new standards developments and about the benefits that they bring to users. Subscribe to our newsletter to keep abreast of new ISO rules and standards.