MEPs in the EU Agriculture and Rural Development Committee today [Thursday, March 31] recommended to help Member States to promote organic farming.
Members of the committee voted unanimously in favor of a report on the EU action plan for organic farming.
The report points out that the share of agricultural land devoted to organic farming varies considerably between Member States and that there is no single agricultural model suitable for all countries and regions.
MEPs said the European Commission should support and encourage Member States to establish their own national or regional strategies for organic farming.
MEPs added that any legislation on organic farming must be flexible.
In its Farm to Fork Strategy and Biodiversity Strategy, the Commission set a target of “at least 25% of EU farmland under organic farming and a significant increase in organic aquaculture of here 2030”.
The committee also called on the commission to “identify instruments” to enable member states to encourage distribution chains to promote organic consumption.
To prevent fraud and the proliferation of different private certifications, MEPs said a harmonized EU certification system for organic farming inputs should be put in place.
The resolution on an EU action plan for organic farming will now be voted on by the European Parliament, possibly during the May session.
Commenting on today’s vote, Jan Plagge, President of IFOAM Organics Europe said:
“The EU action plan on organic farming is crucial to increase both production and demand for organic products, and we welcome the involvement/interest of MEPs.
“To ensure the success of the PAO in achieving the 25% organic land target and the transition to more sustainable food systems, we must not forget the importance of the involvement of stakeholders at all levels, in particular European, national, regional and local actors.
“The local level is particularly relevant in the context of sustainable public procurement, a means of effectively promoting systemic transformation of the food system”.
“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 educating schools and consumers about organic and better diets,” Plagge concluded.