Circular Economy Package – Waste-based and organic fertilisers

14 Jul 2016
Adopted References: NAT/691 EESC-2016-03054-00-01-AC-TRA Referral Rapporteur: Cillian Lohan (Various interests - GR III / Ireland) Plenary Session: 518 - 13 Jul 2016 - 14 Jul 2016
Circular Economy Package – Waste-based and organic fertilisers

EESC opinion: Circular Economy - fertilisers

Background information

The legislative proposal unveiled by the Commission in March 2016 on organic and waste-based fertilisers is part of the Circular Economy Action Plan published in December 2015. It aims at fostering resource efficiency in the sector of fertilising products, create new opportunities for businesses and farmers and improve the environmental performance of these substances. It is based on the existing 2003 Fertilisers Regulation, which ensure free movement of traditional, mineral fertilisers. The proposal widens the scope of the EU legislation and integrates organic and waste-based fertilisers, including animal by-products, in order to create a level-playing field for these substances. It provides rules for free movement, in particular by making the CE mark accessible to organic fertilisers; it also introduces new harmonised requirements for all CE marked fertilisers, in terms of quality, safety and labelling.

Related opinions of the EESC

Related links (NAT members only)

  • NAT/691 - Circular Economy - fertilisers on Teamsite

Key points

The opinion generally supports the Commission's proposals, welcoming it as the first legislative outcome of the Circular Economy Action Plan after the proposals on the waste legislation. The EESC welcomes in particular the creation of a level-playing field including organic and waste-based fertilisers, which will help them become more competitive vis-à-vis mineral ones. The opinion recommends a reliable labelling system, emphasises the differences between soils in EU countries and highlights that the EU still lacks an EU Soil Framework Directive. The Commission's proposal introduces a limit on cadmium in fertilisers, which the section opinion endorses, highlighting that it will increase costs and that farmers should benefit from adequate support.

Commission's proposal