Luxembourg Set to Be First European Country to Fully Ban Glyphosate Herbicides

Posted on Jan 16 2020 - 9:57pm by Sustainable Pulse

The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is in the process of becoming the first country to ban the use of the substance glyphosate in herbicides.

Source: Press release by Luxembourg’s Ministry of Agriculture, Viticulture and Rural Development

The Minister of Agriculture, Viticulture and Rural Development, Romain Schneider, is thus implementing the government’s commitment by banning the use of glyphosate-based plant protection products on Luxembourg soil.

Indeed, the 2018-2023 coalition agreement stipulates for “the abandonment of the use of glyphosate by 31 December 2020, in compliance with the relevant legal provisions”.

Glyphosate phase-out by 31 December 2020

With a view to this abandonment, the actors concerned, such as farmers, winegrowers, market gardeners and holders of authorisations, were informed in advance by the Ministry of Agriculture, Viticulture and Rural Development of the planned measures:

  • Withdrawal of the marketing authorisation of plant protection products containing the active substance glyphosate from 1 February 2020;
  • Period for using up stocks granted until 30 June 2020
  • Grace period for the use of these products by professional or private users until 31 December 2020.

Luxembourg, a pioneer among the Member States of the European Union

By this governmental decision, Luxembourg terminates the use of the substance glyphosate as from 1 January 2021, notwithstanding its approval at European level until 15 December 2022.

In Romain Schneider’s view, this decision has the capacity to produce a significant leverage effect throughout the European Union, bearing in mind that other countries such as Austria have already taken similar steps.

Voluntary renunciation of the substance glyphosate since autumn 2019

Farmers who give up the use of glyphosate-based plant protection products from the crop year 2019/20 will be compensated under the Greening and Landscape management program.

Farmers who have committed to comply with this condition will receive additional compensation per hectare of EUR 30 for arable land, EUR 50 for wine-growing land and EUR 100 for fruit-growing.

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In this context, Romain Schneider welcomes the enthusiasm of farmers to commit themselves to abandoning the substance glyphosate before the cut-off date of 31 December 2020. To date, 592 of the 1,005 farms, which have confirmed their participation in the Greening and Landscape management program, are taking part in this particular measure on a voluntary basis.

Romain Schneider also welcomes the fact that Luxembourg winegrowers are the first in the European Union to voluntarily renounce the use of glyphosate as of the 2019-2020 crop year.

In addition, winegrowers who voluntarily renounce all use of herbicides in their vineyards will be compensated between EUR 500 and 550 per hectare, depending on the slope of the land.

Use of plant protection products compatible with sustainable development

The Minister of Agriculture, Viticulture and Rural Development wishes to emphasize that the banning of glyphosate is a major step forward in the government’s commitment to significantly reduce the use of plant protection products in general.

Indeed, the PAN (National Action Plan for the Reduction of Plant Protection Products) aims at a 50% reduction in the use of plant protection products until 2030 as well as a 30% reduction of “big movers” (most dangerous or most used plant protection products), including glyphosate-based products, until 2025.

Romain Schneider is convinced that the ban on the active substance glyphosate is a decisive step towards a sustainable approach that meets the ambitions of a modern and environmentally friendly use of plant protection products.

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