Cultivation/Production, Equipment/Technology, Europe, UK, Ireland, Health/Nutrition/Food Safety, Smart Farming, Storage, Sustainability

Belgapom states position on potato storage after EU approval of CIPC not extended

As previously announced by Belgapom, the recognised association for the Belgian potato trade and processing industry, potato storage in the European Union is entering a new era. This is the result of a decision taken by the European Commission to not extend the approval for the active substance chlorpropham.

In light of this, Belgapom has formulated a position on how to handle chlorpropham as of the 2020 harvest.

Maximum effort expected and required

As a result of the decision taken by the European Commission, the maximum residue limit (MRL) for the active substance chlorpropham will be 0.01 ppm (detection limit), unless the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (SCoPAFF) decides otherwise.

Since sprout inhibitors on the basis of the active substance chlorpropham have been widely used in European storage sheds in the past decade, there is a risk of cross-contamination for potatoes that starting from the coming harvest year (2020) will be kept in storage sheds with a chlorpropham past.

It is for this reason that the European potato sector has submitted a request to the authorities for a temporarily increased MRL (t-MRL) for the active substance chlorpropham. The dossier for a t-MRL has been submitted by the Dutch CTGB and is currently being assessed by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

However, regardless of any t-MRL being awarded, the European Commission expects the European potato sector to make a maximum effort to thoroughly clean storage sheds with a chlorpropham past.

Interpretation of the rules

With an eye to this legal situation, Belgapom would therefore like to state the following:

  1. As of the harvest of 2020, potatoes may not be treated with products on the basis of the active substance chlorpropham and potatoes must comply with the applicable legislation;
  2. With regard to potatoes that will be stored in storage sheds for export, these potatoes must come from storage that is suitable for potatoes for human consumption where chlorpropham has never previously been used or which has been cleaned to prevent cross-contamination with the products on the basis of chlorpropham used in the past;
  3. Sellers of potatoes that will be stored in storage sheds where chlorpropham was used in the past, will, as part of good practice, make a maximum effort to sufficiently thoroughly clean the storage sheds including any installations such as ventilators, air ducts, conveyor belts and crates, etc. before storing the 2020 harvest;
  4. Sellers of potatoes that will be stored have an obligation, at the time of delivery at the latest, to provide information to the buyer(s) about the efforts made with regard to thorough cleaning.

Belgapom is very much aware of this major challenge and is of the opinion that the (European) chain partners must join forces to manage the phasing out of chlorpropham.

Belgapom is therefore consulting on this subject with the Belgian agricultural organisations and the Walloon chain organisation, whose members are also being confronted with the challenges of storing potatoes without chlorpropham.

This collaboration will hopefully be strengthened over the next few months so that growers can be offered practical, broadly supported advice well before the start of the new storage season

.For additional information please contact Belgapom. Romain Cools – or tel. +32 (0)475/328757

Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse

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