|June 10, 2004,
as reported by just-food.com: The European Commission
is going forward with a strategy to bolster organic farming
opportunities in the EU. The proposal titled “European
Action Plan for Organic Food and Farming” aims to
facilitate the development of organic farming in member
The plan includes 21 concrete policy measures, put
forward by the Commission, such as improving information
about organic farming, streamlining public support via
rural development, improving production standards or
This plan comes in response to a rapid increase in
the number of farmers producing organically and to a
strong demand from consumers during the last years.
The 1990s witnessed very rapid growth in the sector.
In 1985, certified organic production (including areas
under conversion) accounted for just 100,000 ha on 6,300
holdings in the EU, or less than 0.1 % of the total
utilizable agricultural area. By the end of 2002, this
had increased to 4.4 million ha on an estimated 150,000
holdings, or 3.3 % of total agricultural area and 2.3
% of holdings.
“Promoting environmentally friendly quality products
is one major objective of the new, reformed Common Agricultural
Policy. This is why we want to boost organic farming
by stepping up information for consumers, strengthening
the control system and improving research,” said
Franz Fischler, Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural
Development and Fisheries.
The Action Plan will be presented at the next Agriculture