The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, announced that, under his chairmanship, the Council of Agricultural Ministers has agreed a framework on the future direction of Organic Farming in the EU.
This agreement marks the final stage of an Irish Presidency initiative which was embarked upon in January 2013.
The Minister said that the Council Conclusions call on the European Commission to further develop the organic farming sector by reviewing the current legal framework and providing greater stability and certainty for the sector. Specifically, the Commission and Member States are asked to review and update the European Action Plan for Organic Food and Farming to reflect the development of the sector and to provide a vision and policy focus for the future. The Conclusions call for measures to protect the reputation of the organic sector, to enhance consumer confidence, support and encourage the promotion of the organic sector and increased consumption of organic produce, including steps to harmonise and guarantee the use of the EU logo as a means to increase recognition of organic products in the market and raise public awareness.
The Minister pointed out that the Council Conclusions also highlight the important link with the current CAP reform proposals and the need to consider further possibilities for providing financial support for organic production.
Welcoming the adoption of the Council Conclusions Minister Coveney noted that the “agreement marks the achievement of an important Presidency goal. It provides the European Commission with a political perspective on how the organic sector should be developed and will greatly assist the Commission in its ongoing review of the current political and legal framework and future legislative proposals for the future of organic farming in Europe”.
The Minister said that he expects the Commission to bring forward legislative proposals to give effect to the Council’s Conclusions later in the year.