The European Parliament has adopted a European action plan for organic farming, the success of which depends on national strategies, support for farmers, as well as investments in supply chains and research.
The action plan was adopted today (Tuesday 3 May) by 611 votes to 14 with 5 abstentions.
And in doing so, MEPs underlined that organic farming is a key element in achieving environmental and climate goals, and called for market-driven organic sector development, national and regional approaches and support for research in the field of organic farming.
Market-oriented and supported organic farming
The adopted resolution highlights the many benefits of organic farming for climate change mitigation, biodiversity and soil protection.
While the text emphasizes that the development and growth of the organic sector must be market driven, it also calls for sufficient support for farmers from Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) funds.
Supply chains and public procurement
The resolution stresses the important role of the organic farming supply chain, which should be short, local, seasonal and smart.
It therefore calls for investments facilitating the development of short circuits.
Recognizing the role the private sector plays in stimulating demand for organic products, MEPs believe that Member States should encourage retail chains to promote organic consumption.
According to the resolution, there is no single agricultural model that suits all countries and all regions.
Member States should therefore establish their own national or regional strategies for organic farming.
These strategies should include public procurement procedures promoting local supply chains and green public procurement aimed at healthier and more environmentally friendly food in public institutions and the reduction of waste of organic products.
Research and innovation
Research and innovation in animal production or to ensure the availability of necessary protein feed, vitamins and plant protection products are essential for the sustainability of the organic farming sector, say MEPs.
They therefore encourage a scientific approach and innovations on new sources of nutrients for plants as well as research on organic seeds.
The report’s rapporteur, Simone Schmiedtbauer (EPP, AT), said:
“With the EU Biological Action Plan, we are ensuring that there is the right mix of appropriate instruments, incentives and sufficient flexibility so that every country in the EU has opportunities on measure to further develop its organic sector individually and integrate the European organic vision into its own national or regional organic strategies.
“The action plan aims to ensure that the supply and demand for organic products develop side by side equally.
“Ultimately, the expansion of organic products is not only a matter of climate, environment and animal welfare, but also a matter of economic efficiency for our farmers.”