Would you like to know what awaits organic farming in the near future? The European Union is already introducing a particular plan to support the development of this sector. In this article you will read how the EU budget is enhancing organic production and the realization of the Green Deal economy. Then you will learn about the future changes in the Common Agricultural Policy that will benefit small and medium-sized farms as well as young farmers.
Organic farming has a key role to play in the Union's sustainable food system and makes crops more natural. Organic farmers create farms that use their own resources in a closed loop, making them better prepared for economic changes and unpredictable natural and climatic conditions.1 The European Commission has recognized this correlation, which is why it has provided a new roadmap for 2021-2030 and changes in the "farm to fork" strategy already underway.
The main objective of the Commission's plan is to convert at least 25% of the Union's agricultural land into areas of organic farming by 2030.2 In addition, the Commission intends to allocate at least 30% of the"Agriculture, forestry and rural areas" budget of Horizon Europe to research and innovation.3 We would like to remind you that the entire budget of the programme for the years 2021-2027 is as much as EUR 95.5 billion.4 This means huge financial support for the development of organic production!
The European Green Deal is a program that aims to achieve a sustainable, resource-efficient and natural climate economy in the EU by 2050.5 The European Commission's plan for 2021-2030 is in line with this strategy and its actions are divided into 3 main axes:
1)Stimulating demand and ensuring consumer confidence, including by promoting organic food, demonstrating its qualities and safe production processes
2)Supporting the conversion of conventional farms to organic and strengthening the value chain by assisting local and small producers, strengthening organic aquaculture and supporting supply chain organization
3)Enhance the contribution of organic agriculture to sustainable development by reducing the climate footprint, using resources efficiently and investing in the increase of genetic biodiversity of ecosystems
The Commission's new strategy has resulted in favourable changes to legislation for farmers. The current legislation provides for:
· Strengthened control system and stricter safeguard methods
· Simplification of legislation by phasing out derogations and exemption clauses
· Implementing a block certification scheme for small farmers
· Standardisation of production imported from third countries
· A wider list of products certified as organic
Support for organic farms will also be provided by the changes that will affect the Common Agricultural Policy for the EU countries from 2023. After the amendment, at least 10% of direct EU payments will be allocated to support small and medium-sized farms, and 3% of the CAP budget to help young farmers. What is more, the EU regulations will be better controlled and compliant with the labour law of the member states.6 This is another step towards the development of organic production.
There is no doubt that the EU has ambitious plans for organic production. The targets and funding set for the coming years are a huge support for the whole sector. The new regulations and policies will give organic agriculture a stable development and future. For farmers, this means the chance for real profits from organic production, and for consumers, it opens up even more access to healthy and tasty food!
1 European Commission Communication COM/2021/141 final/2, https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/PL/TXT/?uri=CELEX:52021DC0141R(01) (access 5.04.2022)
2 "Organic action plan", Official website of the EU, https://ec.europa.eu/info/food-farming-fisheries/farming/organic-farming/organic-action-plan_en (access 5.04.2022)
3 European Commission Communication COM/2021/141 final/2, ibid.
4 "Horizon Europe", Official website of the EU, https://ec.europa.eu/info/research-and-innovation/funding/funding-opportunities/funding-programmes-and-open-calls/horizon-europe_en (access 5.04.2022)
5 "European Green Deal," Official website of the EU, https://ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/european-green-deal_pl (access 5.04.2022)
6 "Parliament finally approves Common Agricultural Policy reform," https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/pl/press-room/20211118IPR17613/parlament-ostatecznie-zatwierdza-reforme-wspolnej-polityki-rolnej (access 5.04.2022)