Agriculture News Digest

       No. 72     9 January 2004

European Hearing on Organic Food and Farming
EUR 29 million EU support for the promotion of agricultural products
10 million EUR for  new EU Programme to promote biological and genetic diversity
Outcome of Agriculture Council of December 2003
Registration as PDO, PGI or TSG

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 Organic farming

European Hearing on Organic Food and Farming

09/01/2004 - On 22 January 2004 the European Commission will hold a "European Hearing on Organic Food and Farming - Towards a European Action Plan" in Brussels. The main purpose of this hearing is to listen to the views of the widest possible range of stakeholders, including experts in the agricultural, environmental and consumer field and to gather experiences from pilot initiatives. Following this public hearing, the Commission will prepare an Action Plan in the form of a Communication to the European Council and Parliament, including a list of possible actions to boost organic farming. The Brussels hearing is to provide the Commission with the most complete and appropriate guidance from stakeholders with a view to drawing up this Action Plan.

 Promotional measures
EUR 29 million EU support for the promotion of agricultural products

08/01/2003 - The European Commission has approved 29 programmes in 10 Member States to provide information on and to promote agricultural products in the European Union. The total budget of the programmes is EUR 58.5 million, of which the EU will contribute half.

Under a Council Regulation on information and promotion actions for agricultural products on the EU internal market, 10 Member States submitted 36 programme proposals. The Commission selected 29 programmes in those 10 Member States (Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom) as eligible to receive financing. The programmes cover fruit and vegetables, flowers, wine, dairy products and meat as well as organic products and protected denominations of origin or geographical indications (PDO/PGI).

The total budget of the programmes running between one and three years is EUR 58.5 million; the EU contribution to the programmes is EUR 29.2 million or 50% of the total.

The approved programmes are the second series for the year 2003. A first series has been approved in June 2003. The annual EU budget available for promotion programmes in the agriculture sector is EUR 48.5 million.

10 million EUR for a new EU Programme to promote biological and genetic diversity

22/12/2003 - The European Commission has adopted a proposal for a Council Regulation for a second EU programme for the conservation, characterisation, collection and use of genetic resources in agriculture. The new programme, covering the period 2004-2006, will promote genetic diversity and the exchange of information including close co-ordination between Member States and between the Member States and the European Commission for the conservation and sustainable use of genetic resources in agriculture. It will also facilitate co-ordination in the field of international undertakings on genetic resources. The budget allocated to this programme amounts to 10 million EUR.

"Biological and genetic diversity in agriculture is essential for the sustainable development of agricultural production and of rural areas. This new Community programme will contribute to maintaining this biological diversity and to improving the quality of our agricultural products as well as promoting the diversification in rural areas and the reduction of inputs and agricultural production costs", said Franz Fischler, Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries.

Outcome of Agriculture Council of December 2003

Topics: Reform of tobacco, olive oil, cotton and hops sectors / Situation on the European pork market / Set-aside / US wine imports / Basmati rice / Sheep and goats' identification and registration / Animal transport / Food and feed controls / Pesticides: maximum residue levels in products of plant and animal origin

 Quality products catch the eye: PDO, PGI and TSG
PDO (Protected Designation of Origin), PGI (Protected Geographical Indication), TSG (Traditional Speciality Guaranteed)

Applications for registration:

Miele della Lunigiana: PDO (OJ C 321 - 31/12/2003)

Agios Mathaios Kerkyras: PGI (OJ C 321 - 31/12/2003)

Lucca: PDO (OJ C 321 - 31/12/2003)


Applications to amend a specification:

Baena (OJ C 321 - 31/12/2003)



Spressa della Giudicarie (OJ L 336 - 23.12.2003)

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The contents of this digest are prepared by officials of the European Commission and represent their personal views on the subject matters. These views have not been adopted or in any way approved by the European Commission and should not be relied upon as a statement of the Commission or the Agriculture DG.

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