- Composition of the study group
- Administrator / Assistant in charge: Martine DELANOY / Tiina ALANKO
Organic farming has seen for many years a dynamic growth of surfaces and consumption in the European Union. The area under organic farming has increased by almost 66% in the last 10 years, and retail sales have doubled in value during the time. Organic agriculture currently accounts for 8.5% of the EU's total utilised agricultural area. Land farmed organically also provides great opportunities for tackling climate change, as these types of land use systems that are more biodiverse and pollinator-friendly.
A green recovery for Europe, that allows for shorter supply chains, increased digitalization of farming and providing opportunities for farmers, will need to place organic agriculture at its core.
European Union organic farming rules cover agricultural products, including aquaculture and yeast. They encompass every stage of the production process, from seeds to the final processed food. Regulation (EC) 2018/848 on organic production and labelling of organic products, repealing and replacing Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007, aims to modernize the sector and harmonise the rules, providing a stable regulatory framework. This Regulation will enter into force on 1st January 2022.
Organic agriculture is part of the European Green Deal: through the Farm to Fork and the Biodiversity strategies, the European Commission has committed to reach at least 25% of the EU’s agricultural land under organic farming by 2030 and a significant increase in organic aquaculture, both to improve the sustainability of the food system and to revert biodiversity loss.
To meet this ambitious target, the Commission proposes an action plan (2021 – 2027) to accompany the sector in this route, helping Member States to stimulate both supply and demand for organic products. This is meant to be achieved by focusing on 3 axes:
- Stimulating demand and ensuring consumer trust,
- Promoting conversion and reinforcing the entire value chain,
- Improving the contribution of organic farming to sustainability.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) opinion on the action plan aims to provide the perspective of civil society on the action plan's objectives and its underpinning actions.