Last week, the European Commission revealed its Farm to Fork and biodiversity strategies, two novel elements of the European Green Deal, which is the Commission’s overarching policy framework aimed at leading Europe into an era of sustainability through reaching climate neutrality in the EU by 2050.
An important component of the biodiversity strategy is the goal to increase the share of organic farming in European agriculture to 25%. In the case of Hungary, organic farming is a forty-year-old tradition which faces unique challenges and opportunities today. Here is our overview of the quick history, policy and legal background and sectoral trends of organic agriculture in Hungary.
Organic farming in Hungary
The organic trend was introduced in the 1980s, the last decade of socialism. The first proponents founded a club dedicated to organic farming in 1983, and in 1987, the first organic foundation was established. Its legal successor, the Hungarian Biokultura Federation is currently a member of IFOAM.
In 1996, the Federation established the first domestic organic farming licensing body, and in 1999, the government passed a decree in line with the contemporary EEC regulations, which established the legal environment of organic farming in Hungary.
From 1988 until 2004 the number of producers and land area dedicated to organic farming almost continuously increased: From 15 producers with 1000 hectares of farmland in 1988 to 1935 producers and 128.576 hectares in 2004, the year of the EU accession.