Consultation for the review of the European policy on organic agriculture

EU_logoOrganic farming and production play a significant economic role in the EU’s agricultural landscape. They can provide a market-oriented alternative for agricultural producers wishing to respond to the increasing demand for high-quality, eco-friendly products.
Under the Common Agricultural Policy, organic production is supported by European financial support, policies and laws. This approach is designed to bolster consumer confidence while creating the conditions for fair competition among organic producers in the 27 EU countries. The rules for organic production are set out in Council Regulation No 834/2007 and Commission Regulation No 889/2008 .

Organic farming covers a relatively limited part of the EU’s utilised agricultural area – around 5% – but the sector is driven by ever-increasing consumer demand. In the current economic downturn, will consumers continue to turn towards a more sustainable lifestyle and higher consumption of organic products?

Issues in this consultation

In this consultation, the European Commission would like your views on how best to develop organic farming.

Key issues:

  • simplifying the legal framework – while ensuring standards are not watered down

  • co-existence of GM crops with organic farming

  • better control systems and trade arrangements for organic products

  • impact of the new labelling rules (especially the now obligatory use of the European logo on all EU-produced organic products – has this given organic products more visibility?)

Other issues:

  • Action plan – in 2004, the Commission launched an Action Plan to develop organic farming in Europe, which gave further impetus to the sector. This consultation is also an opportunity to consult the public on areas where a new action plan might be needed.

  • Controls – for the sector to develop, it is essential to guarantee its integrity. Some recent cases of fraud suggest the need to reinforce controls and enforce the rules more tightly.

  • Imports – an import regime has been set up to regulate the growing international trade in organic products. Because of the fast pace of this market development, shortcomings have to be addressed to ensure the smooth functioning of our organic trade in the future.

In order to participate in this consultation, you will have to fill in the on-line questionnaire. The questionnaire proposes a review of issues linked to organic farming and it is available in all official European languages. It will take you less than 15 minutes.

For further information and instructions please visit the European Commission ‘s official webpage.

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