FRANCE DELAYS PESTICIDE REDUCTION GOALS, IMPOSES BINDING CUTS ON SUPPLIERS
France's farm minister has announced the country will delay pesticide reduction goals after failing to curb use of the chemicals as the original 2018 deadline approaches. The new target will be a 25% reduction in pesticide use by 2020 and a 50% reduction by 2025. Though reductions are voluntary, the Ministry of Agriculture, Agrifood, and Forestry hopes to add 1,000 farming operations to its network of 2,000 farms using technology and biological controls to decrease conventional pesticide use. Farms in this program reduced pesticide application by 12% in 2013, while the rest of the country saw a rise of 9% that year, due partly to weather conditions. The government's new plan will also impose a binding reduction target on pesticide suppliers, forcing them to decrease volume by 20% before 2020. France is the European Union's largest agricultural producer. For the full story, see http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/01/30/us-france-pesticides-idUKKBN0L316220150130.