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).

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.

Autumn Minor Uses meetings

The next autumn meetings of the Horizontal Expert Group and of the Commodity Expert Groups (Fruits and Vegetables, Seeds, Ornamentals and Tobacco) will be hosted by our Austrian Minor Uses colleagues in Vienna! The meetings will take place from 10 to 12 October 2018. The draft programme is available in the "meetings page". The CEG Hops will meet in Slovenia from 22 to 24 October 2018 and the CEG Mushroom may meet via teleconference.

Spring 2019 Minor Uses meetings

In March 2019 the meetings of all the individual CEGs and the HEG will again be held at Square Meeting Centre in Brussels. The meetings will be held from Tuesday 26 March until Thursday 28 March. Please mark your calendars!

Long-term funding of the MUCF

The MUCF was initially funded for a period of 3 years by the European Commission and the governments of France, Germany and the Netherlands. On 15 April 2018 the Grant Agreement with the European Commission expired. The MUCF is now fully depending on voluntary assessed contributions from Member States. A long-term planning and a strategy how Member States can contribute, has been prepared. It is clear that minor uses problems will not all be resolved in three years. A continued funding of the MUCF is critical to support the sustainability of speciality crop production in the European Union. For more information on the long-term funding, click here

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Meetings organised by MUCF

10 to 12 October 2018, Vienna, Austria
Meeting of the Horizontal Expert Group and some Commodity Expert Groups
4 to 5 April 2018, Brussels, Belgium
Meeting of the "Minor Uses Steering Group"
13 to 15 March 2018, Brussels, Belgium
Meeting of the Horizontal Expert Group and Commodity Expert Groups
6 February 2018, Brussels, Belgium
Second Stakeholder Advisory Forum
22 November 2017, Brussels, Belgium
Meeting of the "Minor Uses Steering Group"
1 to 3 November 2017, Dublin, Ireland
Meeting of the Horizontal Expert Group and some Commodity Expert Groups
18 to 19 October 2017, Obernai, France
Hops Commodity Expert Group meeting

Meetings attended by MUCF

22 to 24 October 2018, Basel, Switzerland
Annual Biocontrol Industry Meeting- ABIM
4 to 6 September 2018, Barcelona, Spain
Crop Innovations and Regulations
7 to 8 March 2018, Brussels, Belgium
ECPA- ECCA- Crop Protection European Regulatory Conference
30 November to 1 December 2017, Barcelona, Spain
Southern European Crop Protection Conference 2017
23 November 2017, Amsterdam, Netherlands
R&D of Agri products conference
24 to 25 October 2017, Bratislava, Slovakia
21st Central European Regulation Forum (CEUREG)
23 to 25 October 2017, Basel, Switzerland
Annual Biocontrol Industry Meeting

See all our meetings