The European Commission has decided that the potato sprout inhibitor chlorpropham (CIPC) is no longer allowed to be applied to potatoes in storage from January 1st this year. The entire European potato sector is therefore facing a challenge, according to industry experts.
“In Belgium, it is mainly potato processing and exports that are affected by the ban, since the measure targets the storage potatoes,” Romain Cools and Marc Van Herreweghe of Belgapom told FreshPlaza during a recent interview.
“Early potatoes are treated a little or not even treatment. Initially, it was important to gain knowledge of the use of alternative means.
Next, it is also important to prevent possible cross-contamination of potatoes that are stored or transported in installations that used to work with CIPC, ” Romain and Marc said.
Whether the export position of the Belgian potato sector will come under pressure as a result of the ban is still uncertain, they said. “The Dutch NAO has requested an exception, the feasibility of which is very limited and launched a study together with WUR. The export position of processed potatoes from the EU will in the short term be confronted with an increase in the cost price, because the alternatives are more expensive and this will influence the price at some point.”
Romain and Marc pointed out that in North America, the authorisation of CIPC use was recently extended by 15 years and there is an MRL (maximum residue limits) of 30 ppm. In the EU it is now 10 ppm.