EU Minor Uses Coordination Facility (MUCF)

Because of the extensive data packages required for authorization to market plant protection products, growers face increasing difficulties in gaining authorization for “minor uses”.  Minor uses of pesticides are uses on niche crops with a high economic value for farmers, but usually of low economic interest for the agro-pesticide industry. This leads to a lack of authorized products on the market for farmers to use on these crops which in turn can lead to illegal uses or to loss of crop production. These crops include most vegetables, fruit, nurseries, flowers, forest trees and some arable crops. It is estimated that overall they represent more than € 70 billion per year, which equates to 22% of the total EU plant production value.

To address this problem in a more coherent way the European Commission (EC) has established the EU Minor Uses Coordination Facility (MUCF). The Facility started as of 1st September 2015.

The mission of the Facility is 'to enable farmers in the EU to produce high quality crops by filling minor uses gaps through efficient collaboration to improve availability of chemical and non-chemical tools within an integrated pest management (IPM) framework’.

Jointly funded, initially, by the EU and the governments of France, Germany and the Netherlands, the Facility is hosted by the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organisation (EPPO) in Paris. 

The Coordination Facility liaises with all Member States, growers associations and other organizations active internationally in the field of minor uses, such as OECD and IR-4 project. The Coordination Facility stimulates and supports further harmonization e.g. in relation to crop group and pest group definitions and is in the process of developing guidance documents.

The Coordination Facility is maintaining the European Minor Uses Database (EUMUDA) as a key structure to identify minor uses gaps, share information on them and cooperate to find solutions. The launch of the new EUMUDA took place on 28 June 2017.

The Coordination Facility is working on the development of non-chemical and IPM routes to solve minor use problems together with Commodity Expert Groups. In that respect the Coordination Facility will establish a strong link with research networks on IPM (C-IPM ERANET).

The 8th newsletter is now available

Read more about the minor uses Steering Group meeting, the upcoming Annual General Meeting and Stakeholder Advisory Forum, feedback from the minor uses Expert Meetings, an interview with Martin Ward the departing Director-General of EPPO, the status of C-IPM minor uses projects and much more in the latest newsletter. Click here to access the 8th Newsletter of the MUCF.

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Funding of the MUCF for 2019 and beyond

Since 15 April 2018 the MUCF is fully depending on voluntary assessed contributions from Member States. In addition to the 14 countries who financially supported the MUCF in 2018, we are very pleased to announce that Cyprus has also committed to financing the co-ordination facility in 2019. We hope many other countries will join and thank all of our financing countries.
For more information on the long term funding, click here

Minor uses needs and priorities in Europe

What are the minor uses issues faced in Europe? Which crops and pests are the most critical?
The MUCF conducted a new survey to EU Member States, Norway and Switzerland in early 2018, following a previous survey for the Global Minor Use Summit, performed in 2017. Results from 24 EU Member States, Norway and Switzerland are now available in EUMUDA in the table of needs (click here to access table of needs). This information, that is publicly available, is useful for establishing project plans of the Commodity Expert Groups but also for helping industry and research institutes in the identification of possible solutions (e.g. plant protection products, agronomic practices) in an Integrated Pest management framework.

Upcoming Meetings organised by MUCF

26 February 2019, Brussels, Belgium
Third Stakeholder Advisory Forum
26 February 2019, Brussels, Belgium
Annual General Meeting
26 to 28 March 2019, Brussels, Belgium
Meeting of the Horizontal Expert Group and Commodity Expert Groups

See all our meetings