European Parliament adopted a bill to regulate the organic industry: things will be stricter, but also fairer and clearer. An organic label and importation legislation should help promote Europe’s local organic manufacturing companies.
“Need to increase organic production”
Following the European Commission’s approval, the European Parliament has now also approved new legislation for Europe’s organic agriculture. The proposal should lead to fairer competition, particularly with non-EU countries that took full advantage of the large European demand for organic food. Parliament took twenty months to validate the adjusted proposal, but the text is a “step in the right direction”, European Commissioner for Agriculture, Phil Hogan, said.
Organic product imports from outside of the European Union will face stricter legislation and an organic label will need to clarify the product’s origin. This should help increase organic production in the EU in the long run: “Clearer legislation will make organic agriculture more enticing, which will grant consumers access to EU-produced organic food”, Hogan said. Right now, organic product demand exceeds the current European supply.
We also need a more attractive framework for organic agriculture: earlier this month, minister Joke Schauvliege announced a plan to boost Belgium’s weak organic production (currently 1.1 % of Belgian farmland) to the European average, which stands at 6.7 %. Another 1.4 million euro will go towards research and innovation, which will bring the total amount to 6.4 million euro for organic agriculture in 2018.