TOPPS - Train the operators to prevent pollution from point sources

LIFE05 ENV/B/000510

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Contact details:

Project Manager: Stuart RUTHERFORD
Tel: +32 2 6631565
Fax: +3226631560
Email: Stuart.rutherford@ecpa.eu

Project description:


In past years, several small pilot projects have been carried out on water pollution from plant protection products (PPP), achieving reductions in PPP concentrations in some surface waters of over 90%. There has, however, been little or no coordination and exchange of experiences between these initiatives. Moreover, due to the small scale of their implementation, the methods developed are seldom directly transferable to the national or EU level. Furthermore, consistent and detailed recommendations for operators to avoid point source pollution were not available in most countries.


Through multi-stakeholder training and awareness-raising, the project sought to attain a significant decrease in water pollution from PPP. It would directly address PPP-users (mainly farmers), but also train key ‘PPP-intermediaries’ (distributors, advisors or agricultural schools, etc.), who would, in turn, inform PPP-users on the prevention of pollution from point sources. The project aimed to develop:

  • best management practice guidelines for safe PPP use;
  • a common training framework;
  • minimal technical specifications for PPP-container rinsing instruments, filling and cleaning places, sprayers, and other related tools and practices; and
  • a checklist for safe PPP use, aimed at farm managers, contractor sprayers, extension services and other actors.
  • intensive information and education material for farmers and advisers.

  • Results

    The TOPPS project was successful in achieving its objectives, to develop common European best management practices’(BMP) guidelines and to promote the BMP principals (through advice, training, and demonstrations) towards preventing point source pollution to water. The project is innovative in that it is the first project to develop a strategy for the implementation of sustainable use of PPP on a European level; while multi-stakeholder approaches have been demonstrated with significant reductions in PPP concentrations in water, these demonstrations have occurred in a number of small scale pilot areas throughout Europe (e.g., in the UK, Sweden, Belgium, Germany, and France). The highly innovative aspect of the TOPPS project lies within the way it has been organised, the methodology used and the ambitious goals it set out to reach. BMP guidelines A key result has been the development of the BMPs guidelines to avoid water pollution from point sources on the full range of farmers' working processes: on transport, storage, before spraying, after spraying, and remnant management. The BMPs were developed by more than 300 experts and helped reach a consensus over 15 countries (the guidelines were translated in 12 languages). The BMP is now considered to be a reference guide to avoid point sources. Some national authorities have even taken the BMPs as their official recommendation, such as in Poland. Other main results are the:

    • development of best management practices’ brochures that have been translated in 15 languages;
    • publication of 400 articles, of which 300 were disseminated in the farm press media reaching an estimated 10 million professional users (or 80% of key EU stakeholders and intermediaries);
    • development of an extensive network of PPP experts that is considered to be a significant asset on a European level since agri-environmental advice and best management practices currently have no other European platform;
    • training to over 4 000 farmers and 1 500 advisors; and
    • presentations at 65 fairs and field days (visited by an estimated 2.7 million visitors) and numerous conferences (approximately 30).
    • Further information on the project can be found in the project's layman report and After-LIFE Communication Plan (see "Read more" section).


Environmental issues addressed:


Industry-Production - Agriculture - Forestry
Water - Water resources protection


environmental training‚  agroindustry‚  industrial pollution‚  water pollution

Target EU Legislation

  • Water
  • Directive 2000/60 - Framework for Community action in the field of water policy (23.10.2000)

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator European Crop Protection Association
Type of organisation Professional organisation
Description ECPA, a Brussels-based trade organisation representing the crop-protection industry in Europe, works with a wide range of key policy-makers and stakeholders. Its membership comprises 20 market-leading companies, as well as national associations in 24 countries, including Central and Eastern Europe.
Partners Harper Adams University College (HAUC), United Kingdom PCF – Diensten aan bedrijven vzw/npo (PCF – DAB), Belgium Danish Agricultural Advisory Service, National Centre, Denmark Hardi International, Denmark Instytut Sadownictwa I Kwiaciarstwa (Research Institute of Pomology and Floriculture), Poland Instytut Melioracji Użytków Zielonych (Institute for Land Reclamation and Grassland Farming), Poland Università di Torino – Dipartimento di Economia e Ingeneria Agraria Forestale e Ambientale, Italy Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya – Consorci Escola Industrial de Barcelona Centre National du Machinisme Agricole, du Génie Rural, des Eaux et des Forêts, France Arvalis – Institut du Végétal, France Provinciaal Onderzoeks- en Voorlichtingscentrum voor Land- en Tuinbouw, Belgium Landwirtschaftskammer Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany


Project reference LIFE05 ENV/B/000510
Duration 01-NOV-2005 to 31-OCT -2008
Total budget 2,603,332.00 €
EU contribution 1,259,105.00 €
Project location Vlaams Gewest(België - Belgique) Bruxelles-Brussel(België - Belgique) Praha(Czech Cesko) Stredni Cechy(Czech Cesko) Jihozapad(Czech Cesko) Severozapad(Czech Cesko) Severovychod(Czech Cesko) Jihovychod(Czech Cesko) Stredni Morava(Czech Cesko) Moravskoslezsko(Czech Cesko) Extra-Regio(Czech Cesko) Associated Czech (CZ)(Czech Cesko) Schleswig-Holstein(Deutschland) Niedersachsen(Deutschland) Nordrhein-Westfalen(Deutschland) Hessen(Deutschland) Rheinland-Pfalz(Deutschland) Baden-Württemberg(Deutschland) Bayern(Deutschland) Saarland(Deutschland) Brandenburg(Deutschland) Mecklenburg-Vorpommern(Deutschland) Sachsen(Deutschland) Sachsen-Anhalt(Deutschland) Thüringen(Deutschland) Københavns amt(Danmark) Roskilde amt(Danmark) Vestjællands amt(Danmark) Storstrøms amt(Danmark) Bornholms amt(Danmark) Fyns amt(Danmark) Sønderjyllands amt(Danmark) Ribe amt(Danmark) Vejle amt(Danmark) Ringkøbing amt(Danmark) Århus amt(Danmark) Viborg amt(Danmark) Nordjyllands amt(Danmark) Cataluña(España) Picardie(France) Centre(France) Nord-Pas-De-Calais(France) Bretagne(France) Aquitaine(France) Languedoc-Roussillon(France) Uusimaa(Finland Suomi) Varsinais-Suomi(Finland Suomi) Satakunta(Finland Suomi) Häme(Finland Suomi) Pirkanmaa(Finland Suomi) Päijät-Häme(Finland Suomi) Kymenlaakso(Finland Suomi) Etelä-Karjala(Finland Suomi) Etelä-Savo(Finland Suomi) Pohjois-Savo(Finland Suomi) Pohjois-Karjala(Finland Suomi) Kainuu(Finland Suomi) Keski-Suomi(Finland Suomi) Etelä-Pohjanmaa(Finland Suomi) Vaasan rannikkoseutu(Finland Suomi) Keski-Pohjanmaa(Finland Suomi) Pohjois-Pohjanmaa(Finland Suomi) Lappi(Finland Suomi) Ahvenanmaa/Åland(Finland Suomi) Baltic Sea Suomi (SF)(Finland Suomi) Associated Hungary (H)(Hungary Magyarország) Piemonte(Italia) Groningen(Nederland) Friesland(Nederland) Drenthe(Nederland) Overijssel(Nederland) Gelderland(Nederland) Flevoland(Nederland) Noord-Brabant(Nederland) Limburg(Nederland) Utrecht(Nederland) Noord-Holland(Nederland) Zuid-Holland(Nederland) Zeeland(Nederland) Norte(Portugal) Centro(Portugal) Lisboa e vale do Tejo(Portugal) Alentejo(Portugal) Algarve(Portugal) Açores(Portugal) Madeira(Portugal) Associated Poland (PL)(Poland Polska) Stockholm(Sverige) Östra Mellansverige(Sverige) Sydsverige(Sverige) Västsverige(Sverige) Norra Mellansverige(Sverige) Mellersta Norrland(Sverige) Övre Norrland(Sverige) Baltic Sea Sverige (S)(Sverige) Associated Slovakia (SK)(Slovakia Slovensko) North(United Kingdom) Yorkshire and Humberside(United Kingdom) East Midlands(United Kingdom) East Anglia(United Kingdom) South East (UK)(United Kingdom) South West (UK)(United Kingdom) West Midlands(United Kingdom) Wales(United Kingdom) Scotland(United Kingdom)


Read more:

Brochure Anlæg til biologisk rensning af pesticidholdigt vand på landbrugsejendomme
Brochure Project's brochure
Brochure Biologische Reinigungsverfahren für Spritzflüssigkeitsrückstände auf landwirtschaftlichen Betrieben
Brochure Dobra kmetijska praksa varstva rastlin za boljše varovanje voda
Leaflet: Book Dobra praktyka, lepsza ochrona wody.
Leaflet: Book Boa prática, melhor protecção da água
Leaflet: Book Kvalitná aplikácia, lepsia ochrana vody
Leaflet: Book Buenas prácticas, mejor protección del agua
Leaflet: Book Βελτιστη Πρακτικη, Kαλυτερη Προστασια Nερων!
Leaflet: Book De bonnes pratiques, une meilleure qualité de l'ea ...
Leaflet: Book Kvalitni aplikace lepsi ochrana vody.
Leaflet: Book God praksis-beskytter vandmiljoet.
Leaflet: Book Buone pratiche agricole, migliore protezione delle ...
Leaflet: Book Legjobb gyakorlatta, jobb vizvédelemd.
Leaflet: Book Gute fachliche Praxis, besserer Wasserschutz.
Leaflet: Book Parhaat käytännot, parempi vesiensuojelu!
Leaflet: Book Goede landbouwpraktijken, betere waterkwaliteit.
Leaflet: Book Säker praxis, Säkrare skydd för vatten.
Project web site Project's website (EN)
Publication: After-LIFE Communication Plan After-LIFE Communication Plan (EN)
Publication: Article-Paper Budowa farmy demonstracyjnej w ramach projektu top ...
Publication: Article-Paper Wymiana i upowszechnianie informacji dotyczących S ...
Publication: Article-Paper Strategies to reduce point source losses of ppp to ...
Publication: Article-Paper Nu gaeder det punktkilderne.
Publication: Case study Buenas Prácticas Fitosanitarias para una mejor cal ...
Publication: Guidelines-Manual "Best management practices. Preventing water conta ...
Publication: Guidelines-Manual "Le buone pratiche agricole per una Migliore prote ...
Publication: Guidelines-Manual Uso sicuro e sostenibile degli agrofarmaci: le lin ...
Publication: Layman report Layman report (EN)
Publication: Layman report Layman report (FR)
Publication: Proceedings "Kodeks dobrej praktyki organizacji ochrony roślin ...
Slides Presentation "Strategies to reduce point sources of PPP to wate ...
Video link "TOPPS demo video for air-assisted sprayers" (17')
Video link "LIFE project helps farmers prevent pollution risks from Plant Protection Products (PPPs)"(5')


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version