Organic Processing and Trade Association

New draft Farm to Fork strategy is full of ambition for organic

Mid March the Commission has send a new draft Farm to Fork Strategy to the European Parliament and the Council. The content of the draft can be considered as a progressive proposal “For a fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food system”, as the subtitle points out.

In the introduction the Commission sets the urgent targets, like reduction of GHG emission for the climate goals, the need of healthy food in relation to obesities, farming systems that benefits animal welfare, biodiversity, water and air quality, reduction of food waste and better income for farmers. Precise farming, agro-ecology, nature inclusive and organic are mentioned as the four farming systems for the near future.

The paper expresses that a transition to these farming systems will benefit the EU economy tremendously thanks new reduction of costs that comes with intensive food systems that are not adapted to climate, environmental and health requirements, and the new economical space that is created by the fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food systems.

There are very practical examples in the draft to support the transition, like a strong reduction of chemical pesticides and fertilizers, further development of organic farming, directive on nutritional demands to food, support from the CAP payments, support by promotion, program for sustainable and healthy food in public canteens including organic food, support for further research, etc. etc.

And organic is really in the scope of the Commission:

“Organic farming is an environmentally-friendly practice that needs to be further developed. In addition to CAP measures, the Commission will stimulate the overall demand for organic products and ensure consumer trust as well uptake of the scheme. The aim is to achieve the (XX of the area) under organic farming by 2030.”

The ambition of the Commission

At the moment the ambition of the Commission depends on the two main DG’s involved:
➢ DG ENVI targets for 30% organic agriculture in 2030
➢ DG AGRI targets for 20% organic agriculture in 2030

The ambition of the organic sector is not so clear at the moment. IFOAM EU pleads for 20% certified organic in 2030. The 50% ambition in the IFOAM EU vision is explained as a target for the whole family of environmental friendly farming systems like agro-ecology, nature-inclusive and organic.

OPTA board has defined its target as 100% organic in 2050 and 30% organic in 2030, in line with the ambition of DG ENVI.

The Farm to Fork Strategy is expected to be decided at beginning of July. OPTA will take up this topic and the further elaboration of the Farm to Fork Startegy as one of our key-topics for the coming years. OPTA will send coming days a supportive letter for the actual Farm to Fork draft to the chair of the Commission, miss Von der Leyen.