Consumers' trust in organic products together with a demand for stricter rules at EU level, are among the main elements coming out of the report on the public consultation on the future of organic farming published today by the European Commission.
The on-line consultation, which took place in the first half of 2013, has attracted major interest with close to 45,000 responses.
The report highlights that consumers trust organic products (71 %), that they buy them mainly out of concern about the environment (83%), and because they are free from GMOs and pesticide residues (81%).
The vast majority (78%) also indicated that they were prepared to pay more for organic goods.
The report also shows a very strong demand for harmonized rules at EU level, with 74 % of all respondents requesting European organic standard to be strengthened and 86% wishing organic rules to be uniform across the EU.
More than half of the interviewees also strongly required to improve the European control system for organic products.
The results of the public consultation will feed the ongoing review of the political and legal framework for organic agriculture in Europe, with an overall strategy to be put forward in early 2014.