Yesterday, the European Parliament adopted the text for a new EU organic regulation, as preliminarily agreed by the Council and the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture in November 2017. IFOAM EU, the organic food and farming movement, now calls on both the EU Institutions and all the stakeholders to work together on implementing and delegated acts to ensure that the regulation will be applicable to the day-to-day work of all parts in the organic production chain: farmers, producers, traders and the control system.

IFOAM EU welcomes the huge effort made by the institutions to improve the 2014’s legislative proposal and recognises that several improvements have been made. But a number of points still need to be clarified to remove obstacles for the future practical implementation of the new organic regulation. A strong commitment of the EU institutions and Member States to work together with the organic sector is needed to address the existing flaws, before the regulation comes into application in 2021.

“The impressive growth of organics is already a success story, but organic production has the potential to trigger a deeper transformation of European food and farming and to bring many more benefits to society, producers and the environment”, said Eduardo Cuoco, IFOAM EU Director. “The development of organic food and farming should now be prioritised in the EU Multiannual Financial Framework.”

Latest available data of 2016 shows that organic land represents 6.7% of the EU agriculture land (with 7 EU Member States exceeding 10%) and that organic retail sales amounted to € 30.7 billions, with an annual growth of 12%. This is unprecedented in the rest of the agri-food sector. Organic is one of the few positive economic stories of growing demand for sustainable food with a market that meets consumer and community expectations for high quality food that also protects and improves the state of the environment.

Organic also delivers solutions that help meeting the political priorities of the EU concerning employment, the environment, and sustainable economic development

Finally, organic is a dynamic factory of ideas and innovations, which are then transferred to both organic and non-organic farmers and the conventional industry at large.

The text voted by the Parliament plenary is the result of a so-called first reading agreement between the Council’s Special Committee on Agriculture and the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture in November 2017. The next step is the sign off of the agreement in the Council of Agriculture Ministers. After the final adoption in the Council, the work for implementing and delegated acts will be kicked off.

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Bio Eco Actual, International Organic Newspaper
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