A name and shame policy has now been adopted by the Department of Agriculture of Cyprus by moving forward with the nominal disclosure of producers who use illegal pesticide products, to whom administrative fines are being imposed. Regarding this matter a provision for the amendment of the current legislation is also in the works based on which the fines will be further increased.
The safety of agricultural products produced on the island but also the preservation of the health of the farmers who produce them are one of the main missions and a top priority for the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment of Cyprus. As part of the Ministry’s effort to further increase the level of safety of Cypriot agricultural products a series of actions is being implemented so as to achieve the goal of producing safe products for the consumer and ensure full compliance of our farmers with the Legislation on Plant Protection Products (Pesticides).
The Plant Protection Products Law of 2011 which controls the placing on the market and the rational use of plant protection products otherwise known as pesticides, determines amongst other things the amount of penalties and administrative fines for any violations of the law occurring by those involved. Although the cases of violation of the Legislation are not many it has been deemed necessary for the Legislation to be amended in such a way that in case any violations are identified there will be appropriate tools in place that will serve to punish the offenders and prevent any future recurrence of the violation.
Some of the provisions of the new Legislation that are amended in relation to the existing one, are: One, an increase of the maximum imposed administrative fine from 2,000 euro to 10,000 euro.
Two, the disclosure of the administrative fines will be imposed (name and shame policy).
And three, in case of trial in court the increase of the maximum fine will go from 20,000 euro to 40,000 euro.
The new increased penalties as well as the disclosure of the sanctions imposed serve to protect the consumer, act as a deterrent to any violations of the Legislation and at the same time reward the majority of the producers who fully comply and fully respect the health of consumers and the natural environment.
Cypriot agricultural products are an important part of the Mediterranean Diet and are considered as particularly safe by Cypriots and foreign consumers alike due to their high quality special taste.
The production of high quality products requires amongst other things the use of pesticides so as to treat various pests and diseases that affect plants and their fruits and thus protect them. The use of these products is governed by a broad and strict legal framework that ensures the safety of the agricultural products produced both for the health of the consumer and the protection of the natural environment in which they are produced. The growing challenges for the successful production of quality agricultural products and the pressure to meet the food needs of mankind lead producers worldwide to adopt the widespread use of pesticides in order to protect their crop. As a result of this widespread use in some cases the permissible residue limits of the active substances in these products are violated.