|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: http://europa.eu.int/comm/agriculture/events/organic/index_en.htm
Source: European Commission
Source Date: 9 January 2004