Press Release: IFOAM EU welcomes landmark decision to put organic at the heart of future European food system

BRUSSELS, 20 MAY 2020 – IFOAM EU welcomes the EU Biodiversity and Farm to Fork (F2F) strategies and the target to reach 25% organic land in Europe by 2030, as well as measures to boost the demand for organic products through promotion schemes and green public procurements.

Jan Plagge, IFOAM EU President, stated: “Proposing an EU target for organic land is a landmark decision that puts organic farming at the core of a transition of European agriculture towards agroecology. Organic farming is a successful economic model for farmers with proven benefits for the environment. Making it a cornerstone of a future EU sustainable food system is the right decision.” He continued: “We need to transform EU agriculture if we want to address the climate and biodiversity crisis and make our farming systems more resilient. The F2F strategy provides EU citizens with a clear vision for the future of our food system.”

“However, the objectives of the F2F and EU Biodiversity strategies will only be reachable if they are fully taken into account in the negotiations of the ongoing Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform. We must not make the mistake of using Covid-19 as an excuse to continue a backward-looking agricultural policy”, warned Jan Plagge. “This is why the organic movement calls on the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission to fully integrate the objectives of the F2F and Biodiversity strategies into the CAP Strategic Plans Regulation, to raise the level of ambition and make the CAP an effective tool to incentivize and help farmers to transition to agroecological and more sustainable practices. The EU needs a new CAP that rewards farmers for their contribution to public goods such as the preservation of our natural resources.”

According to IFOAM EU, reaching 25% of organic land in the EU by 2030 is achievable if the CAP provides the necessary remuneration for the benefits of organic conversion and maintenance through existing rural development policies or innovative tools like eco-schemes. Including demand-side measures like promotion schemes and increasing the share of organic products in schools and hospitals through green public procurement is a smart choice as this push-pull approach has proven successful to increase organic farming in countries like Denmark.

IFOAM EU also welcomes the upcoming publication of an ambitious EU action plan for organic farming that will support land conversion, supply chain development, research and innovation and market development. With a reformed CAP, a solid action plan including quantitative time-bound objectives and a dedicated budget will be a good basis to increase organic land and reach the target for 2030.


Background info

The EU’s organic farmland

  • Makes up 7.7% of the EU’s total agricultural land
  • Increased by one million hectares in the EU (7.6%) between 2017 & 2018
  • Is farmed by almost 330,000 organic producers

The EU’s organic market

  • Is the second largest single market for organic products
  • Is valued at 37.4 billion
  • Recorded a growth rate of 7.8% between 2017 & 2018
  • On average, an EU citizens consumes €76 of organic food annually
  • 71,000 processors process organic food
  • 5,000 importers make sure organic food flows in and out of the EU

More information about organic in Europe is available in our press briefing and in our interactive infographic with organic production and market data.

For more information please contact:
Eric Gall, Policy Manager
[email protected]

Eva Berckmans, Communications Officer
[email protected]

Or visit www.ifoam-eu.org

IFOAM EU represents more than 210 member organisations in the EU-28, the EU accession countries and EFTA. Member organisations span the entire organic food chain and beyond: from farmers and processors organisations, retailers, certifiers, consultants, traders and researchers to environmental and consumer advocacy bodies.

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