Digital labelling of EU fertilising products

EESC opinion: Digital labelling of EU fertilising products

Key points


  • Considers that the provision of voluntary digital labelling for fertilising products is a very positive development and that every effort should be made to encourage economic operators to move to digital labelling.
  • Highlights the risk of the digital divide : digitalisation could leave some vulnerable groups further behind despite the provision that an alternative must be available on request. It would be advisable if there was a timeline and greater clarity as to how this alternative would operate effectively.
  • Considers that economic operators who adopt digital labelling should take specific action in addition to what is proposed by the Commission to recommend and encourage end users to consult the digital label.
  • Notes that some end users have concerns about excessive tracking being attached to the digital labelling sites and highlights that adequate assurance need to be provided to ensure that unnecessary tracking will not occur.
  • Welcomes this proposal as it focuses on improving the efficient use of fertilising products, reduces costs and promotes the digitalisation of the agricultural sector, which is welcomed.
  • Recommends that
    • engagement in soil sampling before applying fertilising products should be highlighted on the physical label as well as the digital label. Such action would be good for the environment and save money.
    • the design and format including minimum font size of physical labels should be specified in the proposal to ensure clearer communication.
    • packages of fertilising products of 1 000 kg or more should only require a digital label where economic operators decide to use digital labelling. Packages of fertilising products under 1 000 kg should always require a physical label, even where economic operators decide to use a digital label.