MEPs on the EU’s Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development today (Thursday, March 31) recommended that support is given to member states to promote organic farming.
Members of the committee unanimously voted in favour of a report on the EU action plan for organic agriculture.
The report underlines that the share of agricultural land under organic farming varies significantly among member states and that there is no single farming model that fits all countries and regions.
MEPs said that the European Commission should support and encourage member states to establish their own national or regional strategies for organic farming.
The MEPs added that any legislation on organic agriculture must be flexible.
In its Farm to Fork Strategy and Biodiversity Strategy, the commission set a target of “at least 25% of the EU’s agricultural land under organic farming and a significant increase in organic aquaculture by 2030”.
The committee also called on the commission to “identify instruments” to enable member states to encourage retail chains to promote organic consumption.
To prevent fraud and the proliferation of different private certifications, MEPs said that a harmonised European system for the certification of inputs for organic farming should be established.
The resolution on an EU action plan for organic agriculture will now be voted on by the EU Parliament, possibly during the May session.
Commenting on today’s vote, Jan Plagge, IFOAM Organics Europe’s president said:
“The EU action plan on organic farming is crucial to increase both the production and demand for organic products, and we welcome the involvement/interest of MEPs.
“To ensure the success of the OAP in reaching the 25% organic land target and transitioning towards more sustainable food systems, we must not forget the importance of the involvement of actors at all levels, especially EU, national, regional, and local actors.
“The local level is particularly relevant in the context of sustainable public procurement, a way to effectively promote a systemic food system transformation”.
“Organic farming is part of the solution when it comes to mitigating the effects of climate change and restoring biodiversity loss.
“IFOAM Organics Europe appreciates the recognition of organic as a knowledge-intensive practice as well as the importance of raising awareness about organic and better diets both in schools and among consumers,” Plagge concluded.