The ban on the use of the herbicide lenacil in spinach cultivation and the need to look for alternatives and strategies to continue with the crop's production and supply has brought together 25 producers of spinach from different parts of Spain, several operators of the productive chain and a representative of the regional administration of Murcia. The meeting took place at the headquarters of the Association of Producers-Exporters of Fruits and Vegetables of the Region of Murcia, Proexport. The idea was to share information on the latest advances in the cultivation of this vegetable.
José Antonio Cánovas, president of Proexport's Department for Small Crops, said that "using alternative methods to lenacil will result in a differential cost of € 0.4 per kg, since it will be necessary to place, remove and properly manage the padding needed for biosolarization. The result in the crop will not be the same, but it is what we will have to do in order to comply with the EU environmental requirements."
The Spanish producing sector is very concerned with the fact that not all EU countries have to comply with the same requirements as Spain, since in Portugal and France the herbicide is still authorized.
"Spanish producers are willing to accept the environmental requirements set by the EU, despite the cost involved, but it is not reasonable that these requirements are not the same across the EU. It could take years before we have access to other herbicides to replace lenacil, since the requirements for registration are very strict and it is necessary to ensure that its use does not cause harmful effects in the environment, neither in the workers nor in the consumers," said the technical director of Proexport, Abelardo Hernández.
Spinach producers are aware that adapting their productions to EU environmental requirements will entail a considerable effort, but they are convinced that it is worthwhile and that customers, consumers and society in general will appreciate it.
For more information:
Ronda Levante, 1, Entlo, 30008 Murcia, Spain
Tel: 00 34 968 27 17 79
Fax: 00 34 968 20 00 98