The European Fertilizer Regulation has been under revision and is currently in the final trialogue negotiations (between the EU Council, Commission and Parliament). The main objective of the revision was the integration of organic fertilizers, which are considered to have significant potential for greenhouse gas emission mitigation. This should enable European cross border trade of organic fertilisers and allow a huge step forward for the biogas sector.
However, this goal was attempted to be undermined in the course of the negotiations by setting unattainable specifications. Under the lead of ESPP organic fertilizer producers, EBA organized a high-level workshop on the coming EU fertilizer regulation in Brussels on the 11th of April. This workshop supported the goal to achieve the recognition of organic fertilizers and in particular, digestate and fermentation products as EU fertilizers. The workshop allowed the relevant stakeholders to have an engaged discussion on unclear or unsatisfying points within the draft regulation and how these barriers could be overcome.
EBA held a contribution on the problematic issue that raw digestate will thenmight fall out of the categories of “organic fertilizers” and also from “organic soil improver”. An additional topic discussed under the lead of EBA was the exemption of digestate from the REACH regulation, otherwise operators would not register digestate as fertilizer but remain under the waste regime.
The negotiations are currently focused on finding a possible fertilizer category to fit raw digestate.