The Plant Protection Products (PPP) Sector in the European Union: A Special View on Herbicides

Alessandro Bonanno, Valentina C. Materia, Thomas Venus, Justus Wesseler*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The policy debates on plant protection products (PPPs) in the European Union (EU) are dominated by the environmental implications of crop protection (in particular, the use of herbicides) and the concentration of the herbicide industry. This article aims at presenting an overview of the patterns herbicide usage over time between and within European countries, and an overview of the industry structure. Potential determinants driving some of these differences are discussed, such as the recent PPP policies adopted by the EU. Results show that herbicides are the most important input used in crop protection, but regional differences are substantial. The concentration of the industry is high, but below levels that would raise concerns by EU regulators. The sector is also highly regulated, which contributes to a high concentration and a consequent decline in innovations. This finding raises the possibility of substituting bans of active ingredients in herbicides with alternative solutions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)575-595
JournalEuropean Journal of Development Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • agriculture
  • European Union
  • herbicides
  • market concentration
  • plant protection products
  • regulation

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