Plant protection training as a minimum requirement for eligibility for agri-environmental support
One of the minimum requirements for farmers to be eligible for agri-environmental support was having up-to-date training in plant protection matters. Compliance with this requirement could be demonstrated by acquiring plant protection training accredited by the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment or plant protection certification (special exam) which was tied to agri-environmental support and had to be renewed in its sixth year of validity. Plant protection training associated with agri-environmental support is no longer provided.
Plant protection certification
According to the old Finnish Plant Protection Products Act (1259/2006), individuals using plant protection products containing active substances of particular concern to human health and the environment had to be certified to use plant protection products (special exam). The old Plant Protection Products Act has been repealed, and there is, therefore, currently no requirement for professional users to have certification.
The new Finnish Plant Protection Products Act (1563/2011) specifies a transitional period for individuals who have attended plant protection training associated with agri-environmental support. If an individual has participated in training in compliance with the terms of agri-environmental support, the training certificate will remain valid until its expiration. Upon expiration, the individual must acquire plant protection certification.
The general rule is that special exam under the old system will not be accepted after 26 November 2015. An exception to this is farmers subscribed to environmental commitments who has the special exam as a plant protection training in compliance with the terms of agri-environmental support. They must acquire plant protection certification as per the terms of support no later than in the sixth year of validity of their special exam. Other individuals certified under the old system must acquire certification under the new system by 26 November 2015.
Providers of plant protection training and certification authorised by Tukes do not need to be certified.
Plant protection certification under the agri-environment scheme 2015–2020
Plant protection certification is a minimum requirement for farmers subscribed to environmental commitments from the 2015 growing season onwards. If plant protection training associated with agri-environmental support has expired in the spring of 2015, farmers who have undertaken the commitments must ensure that the person applying plant protection products is certified before the first spraying. The transitional provisions for plant protection certification under the environmental commitments are the same as above.