New EU organic farming rules agreed upon
The European Council and the European Parliament have reached an agreement to update the rules for organic production in the European Union after years of discussion.
The European Commission said the updated rules will better accommodate the needs of the growing organic sector and will see a number of measures introduced to help boost organic production in Europe.
Phil Hogan, Commissioner for Agriculture, said he believes the new legislation will match the dynamism and expectations of the fast-growing organic sector.
“After more than three years of negotiation, the agreement will remove obstacles to the sustainable development of organic production in the EU, thus guaranteeing fair competition for farmers and operators, while also improving controls and consumer confidence,” he said.
Changes to the law include allowing regular farming and organic farming to occur on the same property so long as the two activities are separated and making the organic certification process easier for small businesses.
A number of measures will also be put in place to help increase consumer trust in organic foods, including having imports comply to EU standards.
The legislation still needs to be endorsed by the European Parliament’s Agriculture & Rural Development Committee and the Council of Agriculture Ministers. If endorsed, the legislation is expected to come into effect in 2020.
“Following the trilogue, the Commission looks forward to the agreement reached today being endorsed by the European Parliament’s Agriculture & Rural Development Committee and the Council of Agriculture Ministers, thus allowing the new legislation to come into effect as soon as possible,” Commissioner Hogan said.
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