Here you can find out about what is happening in the world of organic farming, be it upcoming trade fairs or conferences, new trends in production or consumption or changes to the regulations governing organic farming and processing.
1. Latest news
45 000 contributions to the consultation on organic farming in Europe
45 000 responses have been submitted to the online questionnaire on the future of organic farming in Europe launched by the European Commission on 15 January. The three month long consultation ended. 96% of the contributions are from citizens. In addition, about 1600 free contributions from citizens, associations, public authorities or companies have been received.
All answers and contributions will now be analysed to feed the ongoing review of the political and legal framework for organic agriculture in Europe, which aims at defining legislative and political orientations for organic farming for the future. Opening a meeting of the enlarged Advisory Group on Organic Farming, a stakeholders group, Dacian Cioloş, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development said: "this success demonstrates that citizens have high expectations for organic agriculture. The organic sector is at a crossroads, facing important decisions for its future. Citizens increasingly see it as a benchmark for sustainable production and this provides real scope for the sector's growth. The challenge will be to meet the demand without losing the value of the sector and the level of standards but strengthening the link of trust with consumers”.
For more information on the consultation, see: http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/consultations/organic/2013_en.htm and for Commissioner Cioloş' speech: SPEECH/13/302
EU- US partnership on trade in organic products enters into force on 1 June 2012
More news about developments in the organic sector are available in the press release section.
EU and US agree on partnership on trade in organic productsThe European Commission, the US Department of Agriculture and the US Trade Representative have finalized a bilateral cooperation arrangement on organic equivalence. Formal letters creating this partnership were signed on 15 February 2012 in Nuremberg, Germany, by Dacian Ciolos, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development; Kathleen Merrigan, U.S. Agriculture Deputy Secretary; and Ambassador Isi Siddiqui, U.S. Trade Representative Chief Agricultural Negotiator.
report from mission to US (pdf, 1,9 MB)). At the end of this review process, EU and US have concluded to mutually recognize each other's standard and control systems as equivalent.
The Commission therefore adopted a regulation to list the United States as an "equivalent third country". At the same time the US Secretary of Agriculture transmitted its determination that the EU rules are equivalent to the National Organic Program.
This partnership between the two largest organic-producers in the world will establish a strong foundation from which to promote organic agriculture, benefiting the growing organic industry and supporting jobs and businesses on a global scale. Read more...
Call for applications for the “expert group for technical advice on organic production”The European Commission has published the call for applications regarding the expert group for technical advice on organic production (deadline for the application: 12/02/2010).
New EU Aquaculture Rules will apply as from 1/7/2010
The new rules on organic aquaculture and seaweeds received a qualified majority in the relevant regulatory committee – the SCOF (Standing Committee of Organic Farming). The final text will be formally adopted by the Commission later in July 2009. With an application date of 1st July 2010, aquaculture and seaweed products can be certified in good time to appear on the market bearing the new EU logo for organic products.
New organic legislation to be applied from 1 January 2009
Since 1 January 2009, revised organic legislation has to be applied by farmers, processors, distributers, control bodies and control authorities as well as by competent authorities in each EU Member State. More information are available in the new organic legislation section.
3. Download material
Click on download material to access facts, figures and diagrams that can be used to spice up reports on organic farming in the EU.