• pesticide policy;
  • Europe;
  • target;
  • stakeholders;
  • research;
  • extension


BACKGROUND: Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, France and the United Kingdom have launched national initiatives to reduce pesticide use or risk. Faced with multiple environmental, social and economic constraints such as ensuring the competiveness of European agriculture, the various programmes address goal setting, stakeholder involvement and the role of research and extension in different ways. These diverse experiences offer valuable insights for the development of national action plans required by new European legislation on pesticides.

RESULTS: The general trend is to move away from volume or use reduction targets towards reductions in risks and impact. All programmes studied pay attention to involving a wide range of stakeholders in the policy-making process to ensure buy-in. Research and extension services are important players that help to define appropriate goals and improve implementation. Collective approaches to implementation appear to be more effective than the classical linear research–extension–farmer model.

CONCLUSION: No matter the approach adopted in fine, member states can gain much from sharing their diverse experience through comparisons such as this study and via international policy seminars which serve as valuable forums for exchange. Copyright © 2011 Society of Chemical Industry