Last Thursday, the European Parliament, Council and Commission celebrated the launch of the “European Organic Day”, an event that will be organized each year on the 23rd of September.
The 3 European institutions signed a joint declaration making the 23rd of September the “European Organic Day.” This initiative follows the action plan for the development of organic production, adopted by the Commission on the 25th of March 2021 in order to raise awareness about this type of production.
During the signing and launch ceremony, Janusz Wojciechowski, Commissioner for Agriculture, announced that it was “a celebration of organic production, a type of sustainable agriculture which produces food with respect for nature, biodiversity and animal welfare. The 23rd of September also corresponds to the autumn equinox, a moment of the year when day and night are of equal length, a symbol of balance which recalls the harmony between agriculture and the environment, ideally suited to organic production. I am very glad we were able to launch this annual European Organic Day together with the European Parliament, Council and key actors of the sector. It will be the opportunity to raise awareness about organic production and to promote the essential role it plays in the transition towards sustainable food systems.”
The overall goal of the action plan for the development of organic production is to strongly stimulate the production and consumption of organic products and contribute to achieving the objectives of the “Biodiversity” and “From Farm to Fork” strategies by reducing the use of fertilizers, pesticides and antimicrobials. The organic sector needs the right tools to grow, as stated in the action plan which is based on three axes: encouraging consumption, increasing production and further improving the sustainability of the sector. 23 actions are proposed to ensure a balanced growth of the sector.
In order to stimulate consumption, the action plan includes actions whose goal is to inform and communicate around the theme of organic production, to promote the consumption of organic products and stimulate the appeal of organic products in public canteens through public procurement. Additionally, in order to increase organic production, the Common Agricultural Policy will remain an essential tool to reinforce the conversion to organic farming. This series of actions will be complemented by information campaigns and networking to promote the exchange of better practices and the certification of groups of producers rather than isolated producers. Finally, to make organic agriculture more sustainable, the Commission will allocate at least 30% of its budget to actions of research and innovation in the fields of agriculture, forestry and rural areas, specifically related to or relevant to the organic sector.
Organic production presents a number of important advantages. Organic crops have about 30% higher levels of biodiversity, organic livestock have better welfare and consume less antibiotics, organic farmers have higher incomes and are more resilient, and consumers know exactly what they are buying, thanks to the EU organic logo.
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