|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 states.
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 strengthening research.
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
The Action Plan will be presented at the next Agriculture Council.