Commodity Watch - UFU urge members to acknowledge and act upon the Changes to Rules on Grandfathers Rights for Pesticide Use

Saturday, 31 May, 2014

Commodity Watch 

UFU urge members to acknowledge and act upon the Changes to Rules on Grandfathers Rights for Pesticide Use.

A current exemption for Pesticide users in UK law is commonly known as “grandfather rights”, this exemption will continue until 26 November 2015.  After this date everyone who uses plant protection products authorised for professional use must hold a certificate of competence.  

Option1- Is the Existing Certification route.                                          

Option 2 – Is the New Level 2 Certificate in the Safe Use of Pesticides for those farmers who have been operating under “Grandfather Rights”.   The New Level 2 Certificate work booklet can be found at the link:

To help gauge industry demand and ensure sufficient resources are made available to meet this important industry need please register an expression of interest at you can also contact Industry Training Administration team by email

UFU Deputy President Barclay Bell met recently with CAFRE representatives to discuss logistics for delivery of short courses and in particular the new level 2 certificate for the Safe Use of Pesticides.   The UFU welcome the news that CAFRE have confirmed to us “CAFRE is committed to delivering training and assessment for sprayer courses to meet the needs of the industry. While the majority of training and assessment will continue to be delivered at Greenmount Campus, dependant on demand and resources available, we will also be able to deliver some training and assessment at Enniskillen Campus."

Greening details and Land availability in 2015 (especially for potato production) remain high on the UFU agenda for arable and horticulture producers.  In particular the list announced by DARD for What are the greening requirements for ecological focus areas (EFAs).  Recognising that EFAs will apply to farms with more than 15ha of arable land, and on farms which are not exempt 5% of the arable land must meet the EFA from 2015.  On the 9 April 2014, the DARD Minister announced that the EFA conversion matrix will be used for purposes of determining the land which counts as EFA. The following features and areas can be used as EFA: land lying fallow; landscape features required to be retained under cross compliance (which in any event include hedges, ditches and stone walls); areas of agro-forestry; areas of short rotation coppice with no use of mineral fertiliser and/or plant protection products; afforested areas which were used to claim SFP in 2008; and areas with nitrogen fixing crops. All of these features must be on or adjacent to arable land with the exception of short rotational coppice and afforested areas.

The UFU Seeds and Cereals Policy Committee have however expressed a high level of concern regarding the Ministers decision to exclude the following features and areas for EFA delivery: buffer strips; strips of eligible hectares along forest edges; and areas with catch crops or green cover.  The UFU are progressing meetings with DARD to discuss the necessity to review this decision.