European experts from 21 countries met in Plovidiv (Bulgaria), to discuss the future of farming and organic food in the context of the CAP health check, the new European regulation (834 / 2007) and other related legal frameworks (1). At a press conference after the April 2nd, the Minister of Agriculture of Bulgaria Dimiter Peychev and director of the IFOAM EU Group, Marco Schlüter (2), stressed that "organic agriculture offers great opportunities for Bulgarian agriculture will be part of their future.”
EU Logo of Organic Agriculture
The seminar discussed the latest news about the need to postpone the introduction of the new logo EU mandatory (3) as part of the new regulation will enter into force on January 1st, 2009.
"This is a catastrophe," said Francis Blake, IFOAM EU Group president, "and will cause serious problems. It really is not only possible to postpone this part of the new regulations - there are implications in other parts of the labeling which means that many products will have to change their labels twice. This is not acceptable to the market.”
"The best option is to keep the deadlines to implement the regulation and use bypass compulsory EU logo , which has always been somewhat controversial. That is the only way that the regulation can come into force next January, as planned".
Health check of the PAC
Another major issue discussed at the seminar was the Europe of the CAP Health check (4) as an opportunity to make major changes in European agriculture to be more sustainable.
"Our conclusion is to appeal to the European Commission to strengthen higher levels of compulsory modulation and change the direct payments to farms so that no less favorable to production systems that provide greater benefits to society," said Francis Blake. "It is crucial that the PAC supports systems agricultural benefits , such as organic agriculture."
European Seminar organized for the IFOAM EU Group and Agrolink (5), and co-financed by the European Commission (6), with the participation of members of SEAE representing members of IFOAM from Spain.
More information: IFOAM EU Group, Tel +32-22801223, Fax: +32-273573 81
(1) The CAP Seminar "The Future of Organic Agriculture and Food in the context of the European Action Plan on Organic Farming and the CAP health check," an opportunity to outline the impacts of changing legal frameworks in Europe. 35 experts of the organic sector and environmental met in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, 3rd and April 4th to discuss the situation in the sector of organic food and farming.
(2) The IFOAM EU Group represents 330 members of IFOAM (International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements) in the EU, including the EFTA countries and on access roads. Member organizations include: consumers, farmers and processors, associations, research organizations, education and counseling, certification and eco-business.
(3) The new regulation (No. 834/2007) will enter into force on January 1, 2009. This includes the requirement of placing the EU logo on the labels of all containers for organic food. In early 2008 adopted a new logo EU but has been suspended by its similarity to a logo of an existing trademark. As a result, the European Commission will ask the Council to postpone their compulsory introduction in January 2010 to allow time to develop a new logo.
(4) The European Commission presented the first draft of legislation detailing how to improve the existing system at the middle of May. Modifying individual farms according to the historical basis (which favors intensive previous productions) to a regional basis, and greater modulation (to divert money from direct payments to rural development) are the most controversial elements that have been discussed last month.
(5) Agrolink is one of the highlights of Organic Agriculture in Bulgaria (www.agrolink.org ).
(6) The Seminar was jointly funded by the European Commission, Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development. The sole responsibility of the communication / publication lies solely with the author. The Commission is not responsible for the misuse made of the information contained herein.