All professionals in France whose jobs involve phytopharmaceuticals, more commonly referred to as pesticides, must obtain an official license beforehand called “Certiphyto.” This ambitious global certification program is estimated to affect more than 800,000 workers in France, according to the French Ministry of Agriculture.
Pesticides, such as Insecticides, herbicides and fungicides, are used to protect crops from weeds, deleterious insects and the growth of other undesirable plants and they are all specified and categorized by European and French law. When poorly managed, these products pose known risks for the environment and for human health.
The Certiphyto certificate is a provision of the national Ecophyto plan that implements the European directive for the environmentally sustainable use of pesticides. Once acquired, licensing ensures and attests that all French professionals who handle pesticides understand how to administer them safely and how to reduce their use.
All professionals that work with phytopharmaceuticals are required to obtain this certificate irrespective of their function, rank or sector. This includes a broad spectrum of workers: farmers, distributers, marketers, phytopharmaceutical advisors, park managers, rangers etc… Those implicated must certify themselves from a local authority that has been approved by the Ministry of Agriculture. Furthermore, because so many types of professional fields deal with these products in very different capacities, nine unique career-appropriate certificates have been designed to better address their individual responsibilities
Procuring the applicable certiphyto requires either a test or training, and sometimes both depending on the type of certification needed. The trainings emphasize five common subjects with regard to pesticides: exposure before, during and after their application, prevention and alert measures for first aid, what is to become of pesticides in the environment; concerted limitation efforts, and alternative and sustainable solutions.