BASF Report 2021

Product Stewardship for Crop Protection Products and Seeds

The graphic depicts the different stations along the value chain. The topics in each chapter address the station shown in light blue. (here: Suppliers, BASF, Customers) (graphic)

Crop protection products and seeds are highly regulated at national and international level, which brings with it strict requirements for registering and re-registering active ingredients and crop systems. Regulatory approval is only granted when extensive documentation can be provided showing that our products are safe for people, animals and the environment when used in the manner intended.

At a glance

  • High regulatory requirements and safety standards for crop protection products and seeds
  • Wide range of training on the safe and proper handling of our products

Potential risks are assessed and minimized throughout the research, development and registration process, and on an ongoing basis following market registration. We regularly perform a large number of scientific studies and tests to ensure that, as far as possible, our registration dossiers address all questions on potential environmental and health effects.

We adapt our portfolio to the specific requirements of regional markets as crops, soils, climate conditions, plant diseases and farming practices vary around the world. Consequently, product approvals differ from country to country.

Crop protection

BASF adheres to the International Code of Conduct issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) for the distribution of crop protection products. These are only marketed once they have been approved by the relevant authorities. We no longer sell WHO Class 1A or 1B products (high acute oral and dermal toxicity). Depending on availability, we offer our customers alternatives.

All of BASF’s crop protection products can be used safely under local farming conditions if the information and directions on the label are followed. Customers can contact us directly if they have any questions, complaints or issues, for example, by calling the telephone number printed on product labels, using the contact forms on our websites or by approaching our sales employees directly. We record all products incidents relating to health or the environment that come to our attention in a global database. If necessary, we take appropriate measures on the basis of this information, such as updating the instructions for use on the product label to minimize preventable incidents in the future. We communicate changes to instructions for use and general recommendations on the safe use of our products through channels such as our Farmer Field School initiatives in Asia and in training programs such as the On Target Application Academy in the United States.

One of the ways we meet our commitment to product stewardship is by offering a wide range of courses and training on the safe storage and safe use of our products. In India, for example, BASF launched the Suraksha Hamesha program. Suraksha Hamesha means “safety all the time.” The program creates a platform for educating farmers and agricultural workers about the nine steps of responsible use of crop protection products and personal protection. Through Suraksha Hamesha, BASF has engaged with over 162,600 agricultural workers and around 33,200 users across India since 2016. BASF also involves government agencies and the central government’s farm extension teams in these meetings to support and promote farm safety.

We also work closely together with associations such as CropLife International and CropLife Europe to promote the safe and proper use of crop protection products. For example, we support stewardship initiatives of both associations and various programs on the proper disposal and recycling of product containers. Technological innovations developed together with industry partners such as the easyconnect closed transfer system in Europe or the Wisdom system in South America also help to make using crop protection products easier and safer.


BASF is a member of Excellence Through Stewardship, a global industry initiative for seeds. This initiative promotes the adoption of quality management systems for seeds and product stewardship programs covering the entire life cycle. It also has independent ETS-certified auditors verify members’ compliance with its guidelines. In 2021, BASF successfully passed ETS audits in the areas of laboratory operations, contained biotech plants, general stewardship, incident response management and product handling at our Ghent and Astene sites in Belgium.