Growth, Jobs and Sustainability
by Redaktion (comments: 0)
About 35 experts of the organic sector discussed about organic agriculture in the framework of the Lisbon Strategy for two days. Together with experts from the European Commission and researchers, the positions and experiences made with Rural Development programmes in the Member States were discussed regarding the targets “Growth, Jobs and Sustainability”.
It was noticed that Rural Development programmes provided an important tool to realize the Lisbon Strategy in agriculture. To the participants, organic farming was an important factor to make the Lisbon Strategy successful.
The reports from the member states showed that, depending on the regional situation, organic farming could provide more employment on the farm, in processing, tourism and marketing. Organic farmers were more engaged in on-farming-processing and direct sales and were highly innovative. These facts created added value, consumer confidence and viable rural regions.
However, it was criticised that the implementation of organic farming measures throughout national Rural Development programmes was not obligatory. The positive relationship of the Lisbon Strategy and organic farming seemed to be affected, since there was still no recognition of the need to protect organic production against GMO contamination. If not all contamination could be avoided, the further development of organic farming would be limited. A further restriction was insufficient funding for research – innovation and development in organic production and rural development as well as viability of rural areas should be supported.
Francis Blake, president of the IFOAM EU Group, stated that organic farming delivered the objectives of the Lisbon Strateggy and urged the Commission to use organic farming to its maximum advantage.
Login for subscribers