The first season of this podcast series delves into organic farming over the course of five episodes. We start by defining what organic farming really means and go back to how the sector first came into being. After covering the basics, we take a look at how the organic sector is doing today and what is expected of it for the future, while also giving an introduction to more specialised topics, such as the international dimension of European organic agriculture and the role of EU regulations in shaping the sector.
The podcast is hosted by Paul Anderson and Patrick Delfosse, with each episode featuring interviews with key players in European agricultural policy.
1: Introducing organics
Guest: Janusz Wojciechowski (European Commissioner for Agriculture)
In this first episode, with European Commissioner for Agriculture Janusz Wojciechowski, we will discuss the definition of organics and trace the journey of the organic sector, from its beginnings as a niche market to the increasingly crucial role it plays today. We will also hear from organic farmers around the European Union about their experiences and concerns for the development of the organic sector in the future.
2: Building trust in organic farming in Europe
Guests: Wolfgang Burtscher (Director-General of Agriculture and Rural Development, European Commission) and German Green MEP Martin Häusling
Increasing demand for organic food products across Europe has made it clear that the European Union must help more farmers transition to organic farming and strengthen trust in the EU organics system among consumers. New legislation on organics is set to come into force early next year. What kind of changes and measures will it introduce to strengthen quality organic production in Europe?
3: Strengthening the EU organic label
Introduced more than 10 years ago, the EU organic logo embodies rigorous organic food production rules. The logo guarantees that at least 95% of a food product’s ingredients are organic. It also confirms that products respect the environment, soil fertility, biodiversity, animal welfare and do not contain chemicals or GMOs.
More than half of Europeans recognise the so-called ‘Euro-leaf', a green leaf flanked by 12 stars. Still, how can the EU strengthen its organic label and ensure consumer trust?
For the third episode of the Food for Europe podcast, three Members of the European Parliament, Irène Tolleret (FR), Benoît Biteau (FR) and Martin Häusling (DE), discuss the development of the EU organic logo and the challenges ahead.
4: An international food market
In this episode, our main guest is Beate Huber, President of the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Europe (FiBL Europe), who discusses how the EU ensures that imported organic products meet the EU’s organic criteria and what challenges the EU faces when exporting its own organic products. We will also discuss the launch of the organic action plan with Nathalie Sauze-Vandeyver, Director for quality, research and innovation and outreach in the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development. In the French and German versions of the podcast, Gwenaël du Bus, an agricultural engineer, will also comment on and contribute to the debate.
5: EU organic action plan – what's on the plate?
In this fifth and final episode of our pilot series dedicated to organics, our experts include Nathalie Sauze-Vandevyver, Director for quality, research and innovation and outreach in the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development; Professor Philippe Baret of Université catholique de Louvain; and Eduardo Cuoco of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements. They discuss the content and ambitions of the recently published organic action plan and how research and innovation can contribute to achieving the ambitions of the Green Deal.