The Commission has presented in spring 2020 visionary Farm to Fork and Biodiversity strategies, warmly welcomed by the Organic Trade and Processing Association Europe (OPTA). Especially the target for 25% organic farmland in 2030 and the reduction of chemical pesticides and antibiotics with 50% are strongly supported by OPTA, together with additional requirements for healthy and sustainable food and consumption patterns.
OPTA is convinced that the best way to realize the 25% organic farming target (=supply) is to intensify and speed up the consumer demand. Organic is a steady growing market, but to realize the Commission target of 25% organic farmland both consumption and conversion to organic should go along with at least 10% annually in EU. That is a huge effort, which requires ambitious measures.
And that is what the OPTA Farm to Fork Action Plan delivers.
In fact, to realize the 25% organic target and transform the food system into a healthy and sustainable one, four priorities in EU policies are required:
- Transition from cost-efficient (conventional) to organic farming; delivering all kinds of community services that are most needed for climate, bidoversity and health.
- Transition from fast (food) to (real) food; requiring a huge change in the actual unhealthy consumer habits.
- Transition from maximizing profits (in conventional agrofood industry) to maximizing values (delivered by organic food and farming sector); a true cost accounting approach that is firmly stimulated by financial measures that OPTA EU publishes Farm to Fork action plan to reach 25% organic in 2030 and to ensure transition towards a healthy and sustainable food system consistently benefits internalized envirenmental costs and taxes harmful practices and chemical substances.
- Transition from anonymous to transparant and connected foodchains with instruments that secure fair prices thoughout the whole food chain, especially for farmers and SME’s.
In total the OPTA F2F Action Plan contains 20 measures, varying from a zero VAT on organic food, to huge efforts in communication, promotion and nutrition education from kindergarten till all schooltypes.
Bavo van den Idsert, OPTA association manager: “It would be a mistake only to focus on the conversion to organic farming. Without the development of the demand the ambitious target of 25% organic farmland in EU is hard to achieve. OPTA and its members like to contribute to the success of the Commission Farm to Fork strategy. Therefore we are fully committed to support the EU Commission and Parliament and bring our experiences in succesful growth of the organic market on the table.”
The “OPTA Farm to Fork Actionplan for a succesful transition to 25% organic 2030” is available here.
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