• Sílvia Moreira

Is the consumption of pesticides in EU decreasing?

Did you know that the total EU pesticide sales volume decreased about 26 thousand tonnes in 2019, reaching its lowest level since 2011?


Denmark was considered the country responsible for the major decrease, registering 42% fewer sales than the recorded in the previous years. Portugal, together with Czechia, Sweden, and Romania had the next lowest records, with about 20% fewer pesticides sales. In contrast, Germany, Spain, France, and Italy recorded the highest volumes sold, mainly due to the fact that these countries are also the main agricultural producers in the EU, with collectively 57% of the total EU utilised agricultural area and 52% of the total EU arable land.


This improvement was, probably, due to the strict regulation the EU has on the use of pesticides. Nevertheless, the lack of adequate knowledge remains the main obstacle to reach the optimal use of plant protection products. In particular, there is still a widespread failure to meet mandatory end-user requirements. In this respect, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) calls for the establishment of specific measures to ensure that pesticides can only be used by properly trained people.


EU believes that there is always room for improvement and that the emergence of new challenges and threats is the leverage needed to look and promote food security and sustainability, by involving the entire agri-food system and consumers in a balanced way.

This piece was written based on EU statistics and this article.

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