Regions invest in organic for sustainable development
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Organic food and farming have grown beyond a niche, but there are discrepancies across Europe in terms of its overall development. SME Organics, a new European cooperation project funded by the Interreg Europe programme, presents opportunities for regional stakeholders to address these gaps and bottlenecks. Within the project 8 participating regions will work and share experiences on specific measures to support the competitiveness of SMEs in the organic sector by developing regional organic action plans.
A new report recently published by IFOAM EU entitled Organic Action Plans: A Stakeholder Guide shows that there were plans in place in 17 of 31 countries studied in EU-28 and EFTA at the end of 2015. Amongst these countries, 5 have regional action plans and 12 countries have plans organised on a national basis. Although some action plans are still under development or up for renewal, the numbers demonstrate that there are still many countries with high potential to develop organic through the creation and implementation of organic action plans at both national and regional level.
SME Organics seeks to improve policies and programmes under the Investment for Growth and Jobs goal in order to enhance the competitiveness and sustainability of the SMEs in the organic sector of the participating regions. The project aims both at enhancing entrepreneurship but also at supporting the existing SMEs in improving their performance in order to enforce the growth capacity of the entire organic regional sector in regional, national and international markets.
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