Fepex criticises new sustainability regulations

Thu 01/12/2022 by Richard Wilkinson

A government commission set up by Spanish exporter federation Fepex is calling for a moratorium on new rules for the fruit and vegetable sector stemming from the implementation of the EU’s Farm to Fork Strategy. At a meeting in Madrid last week, Fepex argued that the new laws on the sustainable use of phytosanitary products, sustainable nutrition in agricultural soils and information systems on agricultural and livestock farms will have a major impact on the sector’s productive and commercial activity and they do not contribute to addressing the challenges of the sector.

The commission, made up of representatives of fruit associations from the different autonomous communities of Spain, analysed the extensive legislative package of new applications in the fruit and vegetable sector, due to be published before the end of the year.

Firstly, the royal decree on packaging and packaging waste will require selling produce in quantities of less than 1.5kg without using plastic. Under its current wording this would prevent the use of recyclable, biodegradable or compostable plastic, thereby negatively impacting the sustainability of the sector.

There is also concern about the registration of food contracts, which will oblige buyers, as of January 2023, to register contracts and their modifications, annexes and complementary documentation, electronically, before taking delivery of the product.

In production, meanwhile, the commission says three royal decree projects will have a particularly negative impact: the sustainable use of phytosanitary products; sustainable nutrition in agricultural soils and, thirdly, one which establishes and regulates information systems for agricultural and livestock farms and agricultural production, as well as the regional register of agricultural holdings and the digital agricultural notebook, known as Royal Decree SIEX.

Fepex claims this will place extra burdens on producers, such as the obligation to notify the state electronically of all the phytosanitary treatments carried out on each crop and plot within a period of one month.


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