Open-letter: Ending blind spots on agro-chemicals – it is high time for data collection and publication fit to monitor progress towards the Farm to Fork targets

Together with 28 organisations across Europe, working in the public interest to protect the health of farmers, residents of rural areas, and other people exposed to pesticides, as well as pollinators, birds and the environment.

With this letter, we would like to bring attention to the ongoing EU reform of agriculture statistics. This legislative reform is of a high importance as it will define what data will be available to monitor progress towards the sustainable use and reduction of pesticides, among other objectives. Setting reduction targets, as proposed in the EU Farm to Fork Strategy is of paramount importance.

Ensuring that there will be relevant, reliable and public data to monitor progress towards these targets is equally crucial. The importance of monitoring and an evidence-based approach was particularly emphasised by the Council when it endorsed the Farm to Fork Strategy.

Without systems in place to collect and publish such data, the targets set are empty political promises. This lack of transparency can also only fuel mistrust in society.