Agriculture and rural development

Consultation for the review of the European policy on organic agriculture

Consultation for the review of the European policy on organic agriculture

Consultation for the review of the European policy on organic agriculture


A review of the European policy on organic agriculture - Public Consultation


Policy field



Target groups

All citizens, organisations and public authorities who are concerned by a review of the European policy on organic agriculture are welcome to contribute to this consultation.


Period of consultation

15/01/2013 – 10/04/2013


Objective of the consultation

Background - organic farming in the EU

Organic farming and production play a significant economic role in the EU's agricultural landscape. They can provide a market-oriented alternative for agricultural producers wishing to respond to the increasing demand for high-quality, eco-friendly products.

Under the Common Agricultural Policy, organic production is supported by European financial support, policies and laws. This approach is designed to bolster consumer confidence while creating the conditions for fair competition among organic producers in the 27 EU countries. The rules for organic production are set out in Council Regulation No 834/2007 and Commission Regulation No 889/2008.

Organic farming covers a relatively limited part of the EU's utilised agricultural area - around 5% - but the sector is driven by ever-increasing consumer demand. In the current economic downturn, will consumers continue to turn towards a more sustainable lifestyle and higher consumption of organic products?

Issues in this consultation

In this consultation, the European Commission would like your views on how best to develop organic farming.

Key issues:

  • simplifying the legal framework – while ensuring standards are not watered down
  • co-existence of GM crops with organic farming
  • better control systems and trade arrangements for organic products
  • impact of the new labelling rules (especially the now obligatory use of the European logo on all EU-produced organic products – has this given organic products more visibility?)

Other issues:

  • Action plan – in 2004, the Commission launched an Action Plan to develop organic farming in Europe, which gave further impetus to the sector. This consultation is also an opportunity to consult the public on areas where a new action plan might be needed.
  • Controls – for the sector to develop, it is essential to guarantee its integrity. Some recent cases of fraud suggest the need to reinforce controls and enforce the rules more tightly.
  • Imports – an import regime has been set up to regulate the growing international trade in organic products. Because of the fast pace of this market development, shortcomings have to be addressed to ensure the smooth functioning of our organic trade in the future.

See also the Commission report on the application of current rules for organic farming.


How to submit your contribution

We welcome contributions from citizens, organisations and public authorities.

In order to participate in this consultation, you are kindly invited to fill in the on-line questionnaire. The questionnaire proposes a review of issues linked to organic farming. If you have less than 15 minutes available, you can choose to reply to mandatory questions only.

After you have completed the questionnaire on-line, you will be invited to press the "Submit" button. The questionnaire will not be submitted until you press this button.

Replies to the on-line questionnaire will not be published. This on-line consultation is anonymous. Each reply will be assigned a random processing number to avoid collecting any technical identification of participants. The data controller certifies that the above information is correct and guarantees that the results will be used in an aggregated form that will not allow the identification of individuals within a response category.

Additional contributions received by the responsible service will be published on this web-site, unless specifically requested not to do so.


View the questionnaire

>> Go to the on-line questionnaire


Important information


You can submit your contributions in any official EU language. However, to facilitate our analysis and allow easy access to all contributions, we would appreciate it if your contribution was in English – or, failing that, if you could at least provide a summary in English.

European Transparency Register

In the interests of transparency, organisations are invited to provide the public with relevant information about themselves by registering in the Transparency Register and subscribing to its Code of Conduct. If the organisation is not registered, the contribution will be published separately from the registered organisations.


Please note this document has been drafted for information and consultation purposes only. It has not been adopted or in any way approved by the European Commission and should not be regarded as representative of the views of Commission staff. It does not in any way prejudge, or constitute the announcement of, any position on the part of the Commission on the issues covered. The European Commission does not guarantee the accuracy of the information provided, nor does it accept responsibility for any use made thereof.


Background documents

EU Regulations on organic farming

Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on the application of Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007 on organic production and labelling of organic products

Special Report No 9 (2012) from the European Court of Auditors – Audit of the control system governing the production, processing, distribution and imports of organic products

2004 European Action Plan on Organic farming

Organic farming website


Contact details

Responsible service:

European Commission
Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development
Unit H.3 - Organic farming




Postal address:

Rue de la Loi 130
B-1049 Brussels


Number of responses received to this consultation

44846 + 1450


View the contributions


Results of consultation and next steps

This public consultation offers stakeholders and citizens the opportunity to provide input to the Commission at an early stage of policy making. The Commission services will make the results of the consultation accessible on this website.


Protection of personal data