The EESC recognises the role of organic farming in achieving the objectives of the European Green Deal and sees this action plan for the development of organic production as a solid basis for developing the organic sector in a sustainable manner. It supports in particular the Commission's market-oriented approach to further increasing consumer demand and confidence in organic products As a balance between demand and supply is crucial for the sector's successful development. It considers the target of making 25% of agricultural land in the EU organic by 2030 to be very ambitious.
The EESC recommends establishing a kind of "twinning mechanism" to step up exchanges of experience between Member States, and improving market transparency and the data availability in the organic sector. The EESC is furthermore willing to take part in any activities to raise awareness of organic production, and welcomes the recent invitation of the European Commission to take part in the annual EU organic day that will be celebrated this year on 23 September.
The EESC calls on the Member States, with the involvement of the relevant stakeholders, to draw up national/regional organic action plans and make use of the opportunities available under the common agricultural policy (CAP) to support organic farming, with a particular attention to be paid to the challenging period during the conversion to organic farming.
This opinion has to be seen in the broader context of sustainable food production and rural development: the EESC believes that shorter and local organic production and marketing chains that also take account of seasonality could be a promising way of generating more added value along the food chain, and also sees potential for additional employment opportunities in rural areas.
The EESC further suggests that appropriate accompanying measures be put in place to ensure that organic products are also accessible to socially vulnerable groups and that the public sector (local, city, regional and federal authorities) should make greater use of regional organic food products in public procurement (e.g. in canteens).