The aim of this action plan is to halve the amount of pesticide used by promoting the use of alternative methods over the next ten years.
In 2008, the Grenelle de l'Environnement established a law which included an action plan named the ECOPHYTO 2018 plan. The aim of this action plan is to halve the amount of pesticide used by promoting the use of alternative methods over the next ten years.
To meet this objective, numerous regulations have been put in place, including the obligation for companies involved in handling plant protection products to obtain certified approvals for their business.
In 2015, it emerged that the provisions in place were not sufficient. Consequently, the ECOPHYTO II plan was drawn up to consolidate and broaden the key actions set out in the ECOPHYTO I plan, such as certification for companies involved in handling plant protection products. The reduction target was split into two phases, with goals of 25% reduction by 2020, and 50% by 2025.
The types of businesses concerned by this agreement are:
• Plant protection product distributors, supplying professional users
• Plant protection product distributors, supplying non-professional users
• Service providers: Pre-seed treatment (PST) / Industrial seed treatment (IST) / Mobile unit seed treatment (MUST)
• Strategic and/or specific advice on the use of plant protection products with or without extended independence
In order to apply for approval, the companies concerned must first fulfil certain criteria:
• Hold a professional indemnity insurance policy covering the business activity
• Personnel involved in handling plant protection products must be individually certified (CERTIPHYTO)
• A certification of the business by a certifying body
• A contract with a certifying body agreeing to all monitoring required to retain certification
The certification programme consists of:
• Technical guidelines (decrees and reading guide)
• General terms and conditions
• The complaints and appeals procedure
• The certification procedure for services related to plant protection products
* These documents are all available on request
You will also find further information in the Decree of 16 October 2020 stipulating the terms and conditions of the certification mentioned in 2° of article L. 254-2 of the French Rural and Maritime Fishing Code.
In order to be approved, a company must meet the requirements of the general compliance standards relating to its business. These standards are produced as ministerial regulations and reading guides:
Order of 16 October 2020 “Independent advice on sales and application services” and reading guide
– All certified companies are listed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Agri-Food and Forestry, which keeps up-to-date information (including companies and their contact details, certified practices, certification validity dates, and the certifying body that performed the assessment) on its website http://e-agre.agriculture.gouv.fr/.
Interesting to note
Socofret can conduct pre-audits for you.
A pre-audit is a fact-based assessment of readiness, i.e. a limited desk audit. During a pre-audit, we only check whether the documents specified in the standards are in place. During an audit, we not only verify whether they are available, but also whether they are relevant.
Once certification has been obtained, you can apply for accreditation by filling in the Cerfa form from the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry. This form must be accompanied by the various documents mentioned in the section entitled “Conditions for obtaining approval”.
Portée disponible sur www.cofrac.fr