European Commission to hold hearing on organic food, farming

January 9, 2004, European Commission: On January 22, 2004 the European Commission will hold a 'European Hearing on Organic Food and Farming towards a European Action Plan' in Brussels. The main purpose of this hearing is to listen to the views of the widest possible range of stakeholders, including experts in the agricultural, environmental and consumer field and to gather experiences from pilot initiatives. Following this public hearing, the Commission will prepare an Action Plan in the form of a Communication to the European Council and Parliament, including a list of possible actions to boost organic farming. The Brussels hearing is to provide the Commission with the most complete and appropriate guidance from stakeholders with a view to drawing up this Action Plan.

Commenting on the hearing, Franz Fischler, Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries said: "There are important questions we need to address. How, for example, can we boost trade and consumption of organic products in the EU? How can we facilitate production and processing? How can we ensure traceability and organic authenticity and, linked to this, how can we support the co-existence of organic farming with either conventional methods or genetically modified agriculture? I hope that this hearing will provide us with valuable input to answer these questions".

Over a 100 stakeholder organizations, Agricultural Ministers from Member States, Acceding and Candidate Countries and the press will be invited to participate in this conference.

In the morning, two panels with stakeholder experts will hold discussions on the place of organic farming in European agriculture and in the wider European society. The final session in the afternoon will conclude on the morning's discussions.

Further details can be found at:

Source: European Commission
Source Date: 9 January 2004

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