After years of negotiations, the new Fertilizing Products Regulation (FPR) (EU) 2019/1009 was published on 25 June 2019. The European Union thus becomes the first governing body in the world to recognize plant biostimulants as a distinct category of agricultural inputs. From 16 July 2022, biostimulants will bear the “CE” mark, which will allow free market access to all EU Member States.

Until now, no standardized description and regulation for plant biostimulants existed, and they were broadly regarded as any substance beneficial to plants without being nutrients, pesticides, or soil improvers. European manufacturers were thus forced to enter each local market individually and adapt their products to different national rules.

The EU has now provided a clear definition of a plant biostimulant as a product composed of substances, micro-organisms, and/or other materials able to stimulate nutrition processes independently of its nutrient content, either in the plant or its surrounding growing environment, that improve the plant’s nutrition use efficiency, tolerance to abiotic stress, and/or the crop quality. That is, they stimulate the plant’s own natural ability to resist stresses.

While a number of biostimulant products have been on the market for many years (such as humic or fulvic acids), the development of new products through research has only emerged recently. Regulators, consumers, and scientists are still learning about biostimulants and their role in sustainable agriculture. This new regulatory framework not only opens the market but will promote innovation and encourage manufacturers to invest in R&D.

In this context, GalChimia is excited to lead the project DROUGHTDRUGS, which aims at the development of new compounds able to activate drought tolerance in crop plants. The project is supported by the Institute for Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology (IBMCP), the Rocasolano Institute of Physical Chemistry (IQFR), and the BioFarma and Nanobiomol groups of the University of Santiago de Compostela, and is funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities, and the European Regional Development Fund.

Links of interest:
Image: Freepik