The two-year transition period for the organic food sector to comply with new EU labelling rules is reaching its end. As from 1 July 2012, the EU organic logo will be obligatory on all pre-packaged organic food products produced in EU Member States which meet the necessary standards. The logo will stay optional for non-packed and imported organic products. Other private, regional or national logos will continue to be allowed to appear alongside the EU label.
€ 35.9 million EU support for the promotion of agricultural products in the European Union and in third countries
The European Commission has approved 20 programmes to promote agricultural products in the European Union and in third countries. The total budget of the programmes, which will run for a period of three years, is € 70.7 million of which the EU will contribute € 35.9 million.
The European Union and the Republic of Moldova signed today in Brussels an agreement to protect their respective Geographical Indications (GIs). Moldova will ensure a high level of protection for more than 3,200 EU GIs for food products, wines and spirits already protected within the EU. The agreement also aims at promoting trade in quality agricultural products and foodstuffs between both parties. "This agreement is a further step in strengthening our system of GIs around the world, but also a way of bringing Moldova closer to the EU", said EU Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner Dacian Cioloș.
A total of €436 million of EU agricultural policy funds unduly spent by Member States is being claimed back by the European Commission today under the so-called clearance of accounts procedure. As some of these amounts have already been recovered from the Member States, the financial impact is somewhat lower at €426 million. This money returns to the EU budget because of non-compliance with EU rules or inadequate control procedures on agricultural expenditure.
Commission side event "Agriculture - the way towards sustainability and inclusiveness", G20/Rio de Janeiro
"About 500 million smallholdings of less than 2 hectares provide a living and food for 2 billion people in Asia and in Africa. Imagine what even a small gain of productivity multiplied by half a billion could mean for food security at global level", stated Dacian Cioloş, EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, in the opening of a joint high-level event at the Rio Summit of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.
The European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Dacian Cioloş, and the Brazilian Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply, Mendes Ribeiro Filho, have signed in Rio de Janeiro a Memorandum of understanding to establish a dialogue on agriculture. The objectives are to promote mutual understanding and bilateral technical cooperation in the field of agriculture and rural development and to strengthen the exchange of information for a timely and efficient resolution of any arising issues.
The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to examine whether the marketing measures put into effect by Agrarmarkt Austria (AMA) between 1995 and 2008 are in line with EU state aid rules. The opening of an in-depth investigation gives interested parties the possibility to comment on the measure concerned. It does not however prejudge the outcome of the investigation.
Commissioner Dacian Cioloş and the Chinese Minister for Administration of Quality, Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), Zhi Shuping, agreed today in Beijing to open negotiations on a mutual recognition agreement in the field of organic food products.
The European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Dacian Cioloş, and China's Minister for Agriculture, Han Changfu, signed today, 11 June, in Beijing a Cooperation Plan on Agriculture and Rural Development.
Building on established relations between China and the European Union, this Plan will give a new impetus to our partnership and bring mutual benefits by establishing a stronger and closer relationship in agriculture, so that we tackle bilateral and international challenges more effectively together.
Commissioner Dacian Cioloş visits China to strengthen cooperation in agriculture and quality food products
Commissioner Dacian Cioloş will be in China from 8-13 June 2012 to deepen EU-China cooperation in the fields of agriculture and rural development.
Speaking before his departure, Commissioner Cioloș stated: "Food security, food safety, food quality, climate change and the balanced development of rural and urban areas are key challenges that need to be addressed in the upcoming years both by the European Union and China. I am pleased to take up the invitation of Minister of Agriculture Han Changfu to visit China to strengthen our cooperation in Agriculture and Rural Development. Our cooperation projects and our trade relations are increasing on the basis of long term relations and mutual trust. Europe and China are the two largest agricultural producers in the world. Our capacity to work together is crucial to build a global food security compact in the context of climate change and demographic growth".
World Meat Congress, Paris
The European Commission has today launched a public consultation on the future of the EU regime for fruit and vegetables. The responses will feed into a Commission report on the regime next May which will look at the 2007 reform, with proposals for further changes if necessary, which would apply from 2014.
"With this conference, the European Commission sends a very clear signal of its willingness to put agriculture at the heart of our relationship with our neighbours and friends from the South and the East of the EU. Concretely, we are ready to share our experience, our know-how, in the framework of a solid partnership for rural development and for the sustainable valorisation of these regions’ agricultural potential. That is the meaning of ENPARD programmes.
It is not merely about funding, but also about working methods, which have been shown to be effective, in particular during the accession of the new EU Member States", stated Dacian Cioloş, European Commissioner in charge of Agriculture and Rural Development.