Thursday, February 2, 2023
Home EP Agriculture Committee again points to food vision 'quarter organic' off

Agriculture committee again rejects 'quarter organic' food vision

European Health Commissions Stella Kyriakides says the implementation of the farm-to-fork food strategy is 'on hold', but that ambition remains unchanged. She is thus responding to the European Parliament's AGRI Agriculture Committee, which on Wednesday approved a report in which the extension to 25% organic farming is abandoned.

The farm-to-fork break is necessary, Kyriakides says, to ensure food security is “guaranteed for the European neighbourhood”, adding that Russia's war in Ukraine has made the issue of food security a top priority. “We are pressing the pause button without changing the level of ambition of the farm-to-fork strategy,” Euractiv reports.

To cope with the effects of the war, the EU executive has rolled out a series of short- to medium-term measures to minimize disruption. The most controversial of these is allowing a derogation that allows farmers to grow crops in ecological focus areas.

For some EU countries such as Austria, achieving 25 percent for organic farming is no problem. On average, that percentage must approximately triple within the entire EU in order to achieve the European Commission's target.

Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski has previously said that he will take the situation-by-country into account when assessing national CAP plans, and not necessarily stick to the 25%.

The Dutch MEPs Bert-Jan Ruissen (SGP) and Annie Schreijer-Pierik (CDA) also emphasized that 'demand' for organic products should guide the production area organically. They also believe that research should be carried out into the consequences of the plans for the share of organic. “It's good that some realism is penetrating, the government should not take the position of the entrepreneur,” said Bert-Jan Ruissen.

The majority of the European Parliament already approved the Green Deal, the food strategy and the CAP agricultural policy last year, in some areas to the dismay of members of the Agriculture Committee. The AGRI committee has therefore decided to have its own report drawn up by the Austrian MEP Simone Schmiedtbauer (EPP).

It has not included a 25 percent commitment in its report approved yesterday. It will be put to a vote in the European Parliament plenary in May.

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