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EU commissioner endorses organic farming

Discussing future CAP reform, the EU Farm Commissioner, Dacian Ciolos, has publicly endorsed organic farming. In a presentation at the 5th European Organic Congress in Hungary earlier this month, he stated that not only would organic farmers automatically be eligible to receive support under the 'greening' component of the first pillar, but that he is considering 'reinforcing' provisions for organic farming through the second pillar, which supports agri-environment schemes such as Glastir. His views were echoed by the Polish Farm Minister Marek Sawicki, who takes up the EU Presidency of the Council next month, and is about to gain first hand experience of organic farming systems following his son's decision to convert the family farm.

Although nothing has been decided yet (the Commissioner's promise does not amount to agreement by the Member states or the European Parliament), it is a clear recognition of the contribution that organic agriculture makes to sustainable food production, and confirms its role in the context of future CAP reform. Christopher Stopes, President of the IFOAM EU Group, welcomed the opportunity to engage in dialogue on sustainable food systems at the highest level. He said that the forthcoming CAP reform was “an acid test for policy-makers to see how far they will commit to making significant steps towards a farm policy that meets the climate, biodiversity & resource scarcity challenges”. read more   

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