There is other federal state in Germany where there are so many initiatives to produce and market organic products as in the Saarland. Environment Minister Reinhold Jost (SPD) pointed this out on Tuesday, during a state press conference. At the same time, demand from Saarland consumers is already much higher than the existing supply. Therefore, the Minister is now launching a new initiative to better meet this need.
Already the region occupies the top spot in organic farming with an area share of 16 percent nationwide. The federal average is 7 percent. Jost wants to strengthen the incentives for even more farmers to switch to organic production in the production of conventional methods. To this end, the country is increasing its funding for the period from 2021 to 2027 to a total of around 22.8 million euros. Interested farmers can now apply accordingly. The goal to be achieved is that the proportion of eco-land in Saarland will increase to 25 percent by 2025. That would be an area increase -compared to the current situation- of about 7500 hectares. By comparison, the federal government plans to achieve this goal by 2030. The financial support comes from state, federal and EU funds.
In his own words, the minister also pursues the goal of helping regional organic foods such as fruits, vegetables, lettuce and meat to become even more important. "I want to contribute to giving these healthy products even more consumer appreciation." However, it is not quite that easy to pave the way to consumers. Here, the trade must also play a role. So it would be necessary to place quality products from the Saarland in the shops more conspicuously and to price them correctly. In this field, there is still a lot of catching up to do, according to the minister.
Although ambitious goals in organic farming are being pursued, it is better to be cautious in order not to jeopardize existing successes. Furthermore, the conversion of a farm from conventional to organic farming requires a lot of farmers. Conversions are complex and involve many duties, like documenting. In addition to this, the payment of financial support will only take effect after two years. Therefore, the country wants to make the transition to organic farming more gradual. "We want to avoid too rapid growth that could jeopardize the stability of the market for those that already produce organically. I want stable companies that want to plan and produce ecologically in the long term and who can be successful in doing so," said the minister.
Source: Saarbrücker Zeitung