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EU Organic Regulation: strong institutional commitment needed
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Discussion on the Organic Regulation at the IFOAM EOC in Tallinn this September. Photo © Karin Heinze
The trilogue agreement for a new organic regulation reached last June was adopted by the Special Committee on Agriculture (SCA) on Monday and by the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture yesterday. The next step is the sign off in the Parliament's plenary and the Council of Agriculture Ministers.
Christopher Stopes, IFOAM EU President: "IFOAM EU acknowledge the huge effort made by the Institutions to improve the text. We recognise that a number of concerns highlighted by IFOAM EU have been taken into consideration and some improvements have been made. The legal check has also solved some of the inconsistencies previously highlighted, explains an IFOAM EU press release.
Nevertheless, the lack of a strong majority in both the SCA and the AGRI Committee has shown the fragility of this text. Countries like Austria (biggest share of organic land) and Germany (biggest EU market) did not endorse the text as it still includes a number of inconsistencies and mistakes that will make the practical implementation very difficult."
Eduardo Cuoco, IFOAM EU Director: "The organic sector continues to grow - currently with 800,000 hectares per year in the last two years and a market yearly growth of 12.6%, worth €27 billion in 2015. The organic movement has an ambitious vision and demands a regulation that can support its development whilst keeping consumers’ trust in organic products. Although improvements have been made compared to the initial proposal of 2014 and many of IFOAM EU recommendations have been taken up in the final text, it is still far from an ideal text.
We therefore call for a strong commitment by the EU Institutions and by the Member States to work together to immediately address the important weaknesses that still exist. If not, the development of organic production and its delivery of public goods to EU citizens will be seriously hindered."
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