On 1 January 2014, following the principles of Integrated Pest Management was made compulsory for professional users of plant protection products throughout Europe.
It stems from the provisions of Article 14 of Directive 2009/128/EC and Regulation No 1107/2009. Article 55 of Regulation No 1107/2009/EC states that plant protection products should only be used in accordance with the principles of Integrated Pest Management as referred to in Article 14 and Annex III of that Directive. Integrated plant protection is nothing more than the use of all available methods to protect plants against harmful organisms, in particular non-chemical methods (i.e. biological, physical, agrotechnical), in a way that minimises risks to human and animal health and the environment. It involves, among other things, the use of crop rotation (or rather crop rotation proper, building soil fertility) and appropriate agrotechnology to maintain long-term soil productivity and prevent significant occurrence of harmful organisms. Integrated pest management uses knowledge of the biology of plant pests to determine the optimum timing for taking action to reduce these organisms. It also uses knowledge of the occurrence of beneficial organisms, including predators and parasites of plant pathogens. By means of these measures, integrated pest management optimises the use of chemical plant protection products and reduces their environmental effects. It thus contributes to protecting the biodiversity of the agricultural environment.