However, from CropLife Latin America we handled many national initiatives that tried to emulate restrictive laws from other geographies. The attempts of prohibitions and restrictions were the order of the day. Fortunately, as a team with the National Associations and the technical and scientific working groups of the affiliated companies, we had a proactive dialogue with farmers, authorities, academia and civil society. While positioning the technical arguments, we maintained due process and increased the confidence in the institutionality and the national regulatory frameworks that are based on technical and scientific criteria.
Trade and pesticide Maximum Residue Limits was another issue that in 2019 demanded from us dynamic and intensive management. This is an issue that can be interpreted as a technical barrier to free trade and significantly affects Latin America as a global food supplier. The requirements of the buying countries regarding the use of agricultural inputs used in local crops are diverse and can even be classified as whimsical. Japan has some requirements, the US others, and the European Union decided to lower the magnitude of the pesticide Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) to virtually unachievable levels. All of this increases the difficulties for agricultural production in the region and undermines its competitiveness. Hand in hand with farmers, associations of exporters and authorities, we worked to find solutions and maintain a proactive dialogue with trade authorities. This is so that they understand and size the needs of the tropical agriculture of our region, which demands greater protection for the crops against the diversity of pests, and thus it is possible to standardize the safety requirements. It is an issue that will require great efforts in 2020.
The Industry continued its work on the training front and on the recovery of plastic from the fields. Through the CuidAgro and CampoLimpio programs we remain committed to the responsible use of agro-technologies. These programs have matured and today, in tune with legal requirements and in dialogue with authorities and farmers, we work together to improve responsible practices in the field and move towards a sustainable agriculture.
The growth of illegal trade by international criminal gangs is extremely worrying.We work on that front, we support the controlling authorities, but there are many borders without control. It is estimated that illegal trade in pesticides can reach 30% of the market, which puts health, the environment and agricultural productivity at risk. The companies that CropLife Latin America represents maintain the banner of innovation. In 2019 these companies made significant progress in the development of new technologies for agricultural sustainability. Today with an Integrated Pest Management plan and the available technologies, a farmer can make use of chemical control, biological control, treated seeds, biotechnological seeds, precision agriculture and digital agriculture. We are part of the technological advances that we live as humanity and thus respond to the demands we have with the Sustainable Development Goals, SDG.
We will continue the path hand in hand with science, supporting transparency and institutionality, and with the firm commitment to work for an increasingly sustainable agriculture.
Valdemar Fischer, President
José P. Fabretti
CropLife Latin America Executive President
Legal Advisor and Director of Regulatory Affairs
Mauricio Rodríguez PhD
Director of Scientific Affairs
Biotechnology Manager Central America and Caribbean
Executive Director Andean Region
Executive Director Central America and Caribbean
Juan Cruz Jaime
Executive Director Southern Cone
Senior Communications Specialist