17/03/2022

Soil Health Law: Organic movement’s contribution to public consultation

60-70% of soils in the EU are not healthy and the EU still lacks a comprehensive soil protection policy. In the Soil Strategy, presented last November, the European Commission announced a proposal for a Soil Health Law by 2023. Soil health is a corner stone of organic farming and common organic farming practices contribute actively to improved soil quality. As IFOAM Organics Europe, we welcome the initiative to develop a legal framework for soil protection and restoration.

Organic farming, part of the solution
Transitioning to organic agriculture can contribute to restoring and protecting agricultural soils by strengthening soil carbon sinks, increasing biodiversity and avoiding undesired effects by prohibiting the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilisers. Soils on organic farms tend to have higher soil organic carbon stocks and an improved soil structure, making them more resilient against extreme weather events such as droughts and flooding. IFOAM Organics Europe therefore asks the Commission to recognise organic farming as a practice for the sustainable use of agricultural soils.

Soil, ingrained in the EU Farm to Fork Strategy
The European Green Deal and the EU Farm to Fork strategy include several soil related targets, such as the reduction of fertiliser use by at least 20% and the reduction of nutrient losses by at least 50% by 2030. IFOAM Organics Europe therefore urges the Commission to ensure that the Soil Health Law delivers on the implementation of the Farm to Fork targets.

Curious to read our full contribution to the public consultation? The reply is available on the Commission’s ‘Have your say’ website. For more information on soil and IFOAM Organics Europe’s work on this issue, please contact hanna.winkler@organicseurope.bio.

 
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