Fake pesticides costing economy millions

The production of fake pesticides costs EU businesses €1.3 billion each year, including 76m euros and 200 jobs in the UK.

A new report from the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) shows that 13.8% of legitimate revenues are lost each year due to counterfeiting of pesticides in the EU-28.

Those lost sales translate into 2,600 jobs directly lost across the pesticides sector in the EU, as legitimate manufacturers employ fewer people than they would have done in the absence of counterfeiting.

When the knock-on effects of counterfeit pesticides in the marketplace are taken into account, 11,700 jobs are lost in the EU economy.

The total yearly loss of government revenue as a result of counterfeit products in this sector across the EU-28 in terms of taxes and social contributions is estimated at €238 million.

EUIPO executive director António Campinos said: "As our reporting series has shown, counterfeiting can affect every economic sector, and the pesticide manufacturing industry, which includes a large number of small and medium enterprises, is no exception. This, the tenth report in our study series, outlines the economic effect of counterfeiting on sales and jobs, and how legitimate producers are impacted by the presence of counterfeit products in the market."


Germany: The biggest producer of pesticides in the EU is Germany, where the sector is
worth EUR 4 billion. The report estimates that counterfeit pesticides cost the German
manufacturing sector €299 million each year, with 500 jobs lost.

France: The second biggest producer of pesticides in Europe is France, worth EUR 3.5 billion. The report estimates that the French pesticides sector loses an estimated €240
million in sales and 500 jobs each year due to counterfeiting.

Italy: The report estimates that the pesticides sector in Italy loses €185 million as well as
270 jobs annually.

Spain: The report estimates that €94 million is lost in the Spanish pesticides sector annually
as a result of counterfeiting, with 200 jobs lost.

United Kingdom: Total lost sales in the pesticides sector are estimated at €76 million each
year with an estimated 200 jobs lost.

Ways to check for fakes

  1. Buy from known suppliers.
  2. Use a basis-registered agronomist.
  3. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  4. Check the product against the invoice.
  5. Check the packaging and product appearance.
  6. Check CRD database or ask the maker if in doubt.

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