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Spain is managed by Wolfgang Maxwald, formerly of Agrolinz and Consep. It enables the group to offer regulatory advice, prepare registration applications and provide marketing and business consultancy across Spain and Portugal as well as to other European countries.

TSGE, a subsidiary of the international law firm McKenna, Long & Aldridge, has been working with many active substances subject to the second, third and, more recently, fourth stages of the pesticide review programme under Directive 91/414/EEC. Most of the work carried out in recent years has been the preparation of summary documentation to support applications for Annex I listing of existing active substances as required by the Directive. For new and existing active substances, TSGE prepares whole or part summary dossiers to meet the needs of clients.The company’s regulatory consultants all have previous experience of agrochemical regulatory studies in UK contract laboratories as scientists or laboratory managers. 


The French-based contract research organisation Staphyt (www.staphyt.fr) increased its turnover in 2005 to €5 million. The company which now employs some 60 people has opened a further field facility in Brittany, bringing the total to 15 bases in France. Staphyt has also further developed its international field study management group, Alliance International, by appointing Yves Coconnier as joint CEO with responsibility for international business development along with Gérard Gruwez as joint CEOoperations director. A new technical manager Damien Ducy has been recruited by the company for Starseed, its seed research business. During 2006 the company intends to further strengthen its  business with appointments to both its technical and quality assurance teams.

Staphyt has recently received the renewal of its GLP certification for field and operator exposure studies and for the transformation work conducted by Viti RD. Its recognition as an accredited  research and development organisation under the French Ministry of Research’s Crédit Impôt Recherche system has been extended to 2008. The company is planning to introduce further communication and information technology improvements in 2006. Additional services will include virtual trial visits and Phytnet, an extranet electronic data management system which will give clients permanent and direct access to ongoing information about their field studies.


At its recent General Assembly, the trade association for Spanish crop protection companies AEPLA (www.aepla.es) reported a 13.8% decrease in the value of sales to €541.9 million for 2005. This downward trend, it said, began in 2004 when sales were reported to have dropped by 2.1%.  Whilst other European and the global markets have suffered constant decline in recent years Spain had previously managed to maintain some degree of stability. However, 2005 was a difficult year for Spanish agriculture in general and for the crop protection sector in particular. The year started with cold weather that affected the more temperate regions where covered crops are grown, creating significant damage. This was followed by a period of drought that reduced the cultivated area and as a consequence limited input demand. The implementation of unfavourable CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) reforms and increases in production costs, due to higher input costs, have also made significant contributions to the fall in sales. The association also commented that the inefficient regulatory environment and lack of control of an illegal market in pesticides have brought additional problems. By region, ranking remains similar to that in previous years.  Andalusia is still the most important market with 30.6% of national pesticide sales, Valencia comes second with 14.7%. Murcia accounted for 10.9% of the market last year, followed by Catalonia with 9%.

AEPLA says that a good part of its time in 2005 was dedicated to understanding the growth in illegal pesticides in Spain and how it could lobby for improvements in the procedures that lead to product authorisations. The association says that important advances were made during the year on operator exposure risk evaluation, though the methodology for calculating exposure for products destined for use on covered crops still remains unresolved. There has also been some progress in the implementation of regulations regarding new toxicological classifications and aspects related to product use and storage. The management of the Safe Use Initiative which started as a pilot scheme in Spain passed to the association in summer 2005. As a result of all the work carried out over the past five years AEPLA say it can now recommend 25 types of personal protective equipment (PPE) that have been tested by the association and the participating occupational health authorities. AEPLA point out that cases of acute toxicity have decreased by 30% since the project began.

31 March 2006                           © Market Scope Europe Ltd                          www.crop-protection-monthly.co.uk

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