"The EU must support farmers to increase organic production and also consumers to find their way to these products”, said Austrian EPP Group Member Simone Schmiedtbauer, the Parliament’s author of the EU Action plan on Organic Agriculture. “Organic farming is good for people, animals, biodiversity, the environment and the climate and should therefore be given more space in Europe, but it will only grow if the market for organic products grows."
“The market should determine the extent of the growth of the organic sector, not any pre-set target figure. We need to focus on practical issues of supply and demand as proposed by Parliament’s Agricultural Committee", underlined Schmiedtbauer.
“Administrative barriers to the development of the sector must be removed and the CAP should reward organic farmers for the public goods they deliver. In addition, we need to support short, regional and seasonal supply chains. This secures the incomes of organic farmers, creates jobs in the regions and contributes to greater animal welfare, environmental protection and biodiversity. These, together with advisory services, research and innovation would help farmers to increase organic production.”
“Clear labelling and certification together with proper controls on imported organic products are ways to increase consumer trust in organic products and trust is needed to increase the demand", continued Schmiedtbauer.
“The EU should have a strong regional focus in this action plan. Every region knows best where additional adjustments can be made and every region has a different starting point. Member States are in very different situations as the share of organic production varies from 0.5% to more than 25%. Therefore, we need sufficient flexibility for tailor-made, national organic strategies", Schmiedtbauer concluded.
The European Parliament will discuss the EU Action Plan on Organic Agriculture today (Monday) in Strasbourg. The plenary vote will take place tomorrow (Tuesday).
Note to editors
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 177 Members from all EU Member States