EU study to develop tools to monitor the organic marketplace

Aberystwyth, WALES, August 18, 2003: The EU has announced it will fund a three-year study of organic food and farming in 32 (EU and EFTA) countries. The project called the European Information System for Organic Markets (EISFOM) will analyze the current market situation for organic food and develop proposals for a comprehensive statistical system needed to advance the organic sector.

Despite rapid growth, organics now make up 4% of European agriculture, the organic markets are detrimentally lacking in basic economic tools required to monitor their position in marketplace. The study, which will be conducted by the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, will develop the reporting tools investment and policy makers need to make sound business decisions in relation to the organic market.

Dr Nic Lampkin of the Institute of Rural Studies, University of Wales Aberystwyth, and co-ordinator of the project said: "At present, the levels and methods of data collection vary from country to country and much important information is missing entirely."

Therefore, the EISfOM project aims to develop a framework for reporting valid and reliable production and market data on the European organic sector, in order to meet the needs of policy makers, farmers, processors, wholesalers and other actors involved in organic markets.