On Thursday, Brussels presented an action plan that aims to help European farmers and ranchers make the leap to organic production to achieve having at least 25% of Europe's agricultural area devoted to organic production by 2030. The initiative also aims to contribute to ecological aquaculture.
“The action plan for organic products provides tools and ideas to accompany a balanced growth of the sector. This development will be supported by the Common Agricultural Policy,” stated the European Commissioner for Agriculture, Janusz Wojciechowski, in the presentation of the plan at a press conference.
The CAP allocates nearly 1.8% of its budget (7.5 billion euros) to support organic farming. In addition, the next CAP reform will include eco-schemes, which are expected will have a budget of 38,000 to 58,000 million euro for the 2023-2027 period.
The main action is to stimulate demand and ensure consumer confidence with promotional campaigns and other measures to ensure that fraud does not occur, Wojciechowski added.
Differences between countries
In particular, it contains a set of proposals to boost both the production and consumption of organic food, as there are currently large differences between the Member States.
According to data from the European Commission, each European spends an average of 84 euro on organic products per year. However, there are large differences between states and people in countries, such as Denmark, spend 344 euro a year on organic products while people in other countries just spend 1 euro.
This is not only due to the different purchasing power people have in the different Member States (organic products are generally more expensive), but also because some region's markets are still very small and they don' have adequate supply chains.
Another issue is the little awareness of the organic logo among citizens and the benefits of these products. That's why, among other initiatives, the plan proposes to promote the European organic logo and carry out specific campaigns in countries where demand is low.
Organic production figures
The area dedicated to organic farming in the EU has grown by almost 66% in the last decade, from 8.3 million hectares in 2009 to 13.8 million in 2019. At present, it accounts for 8.5% of the total surface.
Even if no changes are made, the share of organic farming should reach 15% to 18% of the agricultural area in 2030.