Copa & Cogeca underline fast growth of EU organic sector

In the midst of talks on the EU organic farming review, Copa & Cogeca drew attention today to the fast growth of the EU organic sector and underlined the need for a good agreement so that it continues at this pace.

Speaking in Brussels, Copa & Cogeca Secretary-General Pekka Pesonen said “Over the period 2010-2015, the area devoted to organic farming has grown by almost 2 million hectares, to reach 11 139 595 ha. Similarly, the number of organic producers has increased and at the end of 2015, 271 500 organic agricultural producers were registered in the EU, an increase of 5.4% compared with 2014”.

“This demonstrates the attractiveness of the sector vis a vis farmers and consumers. It also shows that organic farmers and conventional farmers can successfully co-exist and we should make sure that this continues under the new framework”, he insisted. “We want to ensure that the image of organic farming is preserved and that consumers are well informed about organic farming. They need to be aware that organic farming should be looked at a whole and not as a product which meets one or several specific characteristics. Indeed, organic farming is a holistic agricultural production system, which restricts the use of external and non-renewable resources on the holding. It strictly limits the use of synthetic chemical inputs and it does not prescribe the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and also applies stringent animal welfare standards. This type of production incites farmers to adopt preventative measures and favours the use of varieties and species that are adapted to the conditions which exist in each production area”, he explained.

Kees Van Zelderen, Chairman of Copa & Cogecas’ working party on organic production said that “To ensure a positive outcome to the talks, negotiators have to look at what this holistic method of production aims to achieve at the same time as taking into account the realities the sector faces in order to find solutions that can help it to develop further. We want to be involved with the EU Institutions as soon as possible in January as we are ready to help in this process”, he stressed. The issue is set to be discussed by EU Agriculture Ministers on Monday.

For more information:
Copa Cogeca
www.copa-cogeca.eu

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