BRUSSELS -- CropLife International, the international federation for the plant science industry, is calling for global action to stem the rise in the trade of counterfeited goods, including pesticides, which is estimated to be worth in excess of $250 billion or nearly 2 percent of global trade. Unregulated, counterfeit pesticides are illegal products and we need more effective measures to protect farmers and consumers alike from the risks they pose.

To coincide with World Anti-Counterfeiting Day on June 8, D'Arcy Quinn, director of anti-counterfeiting at CropLife International, is calling for new thinking and a new 'partnership'-based approach to solve the problem.

"It's difficult to know the exact size of counterfeit markets given the illegal, unregulated nature of the trade. However, even in mature, well-policed markets like the EU, counterfeit pesticides -- which are just one part of the problem -- are estimated to account for between five and ten per cent of total sales.  In markets like China, India or Brazil, counterfeit products are estimated to account for more than 20% of the total market. We need a new approach to solve this problem. In particular, we need a more transparent supply chain from manufacturers to exporters to importers to customers," said Quinn.

CropLife International has proposed that all the relevant actors in the global supply chain work together to improve the current situation in which legitimate businesses and consumers, including farmers, are undermined by counterfeiters.

CropLife International outlined three key principles which could strengthen the fight against counterfeiting:

  • helping to encourage customs officials to share vital information listed in import/export documents
  • providing more support for police and regulators to track and stop counterfeit operations
  • encouraging vessel owners to "know their customers" and assume greater duty of care regarding with whom they make contracts to transport goods to ensure they avoid counterfeiters.

Through its ongoing work with partners such as the OECD and Interpol, CropLife International is working to reduce the risks involved of counterfeit goods entering markets.  

A recent study by the IPR Business Partnership, comprising 40 global businesses from various industry sectors, found that "fighting counterfeiting and piracy at the borders has proved to be the most effective tool" to protect farmers and consumers from the risks of counterfeit goods.

D'Arcy Quinn says: "Counterfeit products undermine the stringent regulations which make markets work and keep consumers safe. Anti-counterfeiting initiatives need to be targeted where they are most effective: at the borders where they originate or intend to be sold."

CropLife International is dedicated to supplying high-quality, regulated pesticides to protect crops and to contribute to public health efforts, such as mosquito control. As with most brand owners, the crop protection industry is committed to work with the governments of manufacturing nations to prevent counterfeiters from supplying global markets and to educate users to officials in destination countries on reducing demand for counterfeit goods.

SOURCE: CropLife International.