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EU ORGANIC PRODUCTS

The organic logo gives a coherent visual identity to European Union produced organic products sold in the EU. This makes it easier for EU based consumers to identify organic products and helps farmers to market them across all EU countries.

Organic has become a way of living. Some people see these products as being tastier or healthier than those coming from conventional agriculture while others appreciate them because of the good practices towards the environment. Global organic area reaches another all-time high – Nearly 72 million hectares of farmland are organic.

Organic area made up 7.7 % of total EU agricultural land in 2018. The total organic area in the continent is 15.6 million hectares and in European Union 13.8 million hectares by end of 2018. Organic farmland increased over 1.25 million hectares compared with 2017 Among the EU Member States, the ones with the largest organic areas were Spain (2.2 million hectares), France (2 million hectares) and Italy (2 million hectares).

 

Based on current market growth, the increase in organic production over the last

number of decades, and the vision that the EU organic movement has set itself, the organic sector still has huge potential to be a flagship for smart, sustainable and inclusive development. However, if the sector does not succeed in closing the gap between organic demand and supply, Europe may miss the chance to capitalize on the organic sector’s sustainable growth and investment potential.

 

The organic sector can do more in its own right to support organic food and farming development in the EU. Many relevant aspects have already been identified by the EU organic movement in its Organic Vision for Europe. These include recalling the transformative nature of organic food and farming as a key to the further success of organic agriculture. This requires taking stock of what organic has become and how it can proactively face up to the new political, environmental and socioeconomic challenges facing the agro-food sector.

One of the challenges in the organic markets is the delicate balance between demand and supply. A mismatch between demand and supply may occur when the locally produced organic food exceeds the local demand for that particular food product. Trade can to a certain extent solve the issue – however, some consumers associate organic food with local food and perceive long-distance transport as challenging the basic principles of organic. Further consumption trends may also impact the demand for organic products, such as for example veganism.

In conclusion the organic sector responds to an increasing desire for sustainable food production, and as such, it fits perfectly under the CAP objectives. At the same time, it provides higher prices to farmers. Over the next years, improved farming practices and increased use of technology and digitalisation have the potential to reduce production costs, with positive impacts on farm income and consumer prices. The strong growth rates in both production and consumption indicate that the organic market has not yet reached its maturity stage and further growth can still be expected. Organic farming is already responding to further emerging consumer trends such as veganism and demand for locally produced food products, turning these challenges into opportunities.

From 1st January 2021 the new European Union (EU) Regulation 2018/848[1] on production and labelling of organic products will be set in force. The new Regulation establishes the principles of organic production and lays down the rules concerning organic production, related certification and the use of indications referring to organic production in labelling and advertising, as well as rules on controls additional to those laid down in Regulation (EU) 2017/625.

 

[1] https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:32018R0848&from=EN