By signing this declaration of the European Conference on “Organic Agriculture and Food. Towards cooperation and action in Europe”. 10th and 11th on May 2001 in Copenhagen (Denmark), we highlight the following:
The Organic Agriculture is an important tool, it contains the potential to help solve simultaneously a broad spectrum of problems related to food production, the environment, animal welfare and rural development.
Agriculture and organic food is becoming the greatest opportunity for organic farmers in Europe, due to growing consumer demand for such products certified organic. This is a precondition for developing a market for organic food and revenue for farmers.
The organic food and agriculture should be developed more in Europe
Experiences in different countries in Europe show that the development of agriculture and organic food have been provided by strategic action plans developed and implemented jointly by public and private sector, including consumers, farmers, producers, distributors, NGOs, researchers and other key players.
To facilitate this cooperation and the implementation of actions at the level of Europe, the conference calls upon the Council of the European Union, the European Commission and the governments of European countries to ensure that the process towards such a plan of action European Strategy is implemented.
Over the next two years the strategic plan of action objectives are:
- Analyzing the barriers and the potential for further development of production, processing, trade and consumption of organic products in Europe.
- Submitting complains generated in a consensus-based and market-oriented, involving all players in a global Europe, including the European Commission and national governments, consumers, farmers, producers, distributors, NGOs' s, researchers and other stakeholders.
- Covering all aspects concerning the development of agriculture and organic food, including the areas of protection, the environment, animal welfare, consumer behavior, market development, food security, food quality, standards, certification and labeling, research and international trade. The selection of the conference topics conference itself included almost all central aspects mentioned, performing a series of recommendations to be taken into account as a starting point for the future Strategic Plan of Action and the European promotion of organic agriculture.
- Analyzing the relationships between, on one hand, the part of opportunities for further development of agriculture and organic food and, on the other hand, in the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and other international agreements, including the WTO and Codex Alimentarius.
During the conference the statement was signed by:
- Austria: Mr. Wilhelm Molterer, Federal Minister for Agriculture, Forestry and Environment Protection of Water.
- Denmark: Ms. Ritt Bjerregaard, Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries
- Estonia: Mr. Ivari Padar, Minister of Agriculture.
- Germany: Ms. Renate Künast, Federal Minister for Consumer Protection, Nutrition and Agriculture
- Greece: Mr. Evangelos Argyris, Deputy Minister of Agriculture.
- Ireland: Mr. Noel Davern, Minister of State, Minister of Agriculture.
- Lithuania: Mr. Mindaugas Kuklerius, Deputy Minister of Agriculture.
- Norway: Mr. Bjarne Håkon Hanssen, Minister of Agriculture
- Switzerland: Mr. Manfred Bötsch, Director, Federal Office for Agriculture.
- Sweden: Ms. Margareta Winberg, Minister of Agriculture.
- Netherlands: Mr. C. J. Kalden, Director General, Ministry of Agriculture, Nature Management and Fisheries.
- UK: Mr. Elliot Morley, Junior Minister, Agriculture.
- Committee on Agriculture Organization of the European Union (COPA), which includes the COAG: Mr. Peter Gaemelke, Vice-President.
- Community of Consumer Cooperatives of the European Union (Euro Coop): Ms. Maria Gardfjell.
- European Environmental Bureau (EEB): Mr. Gijs Kuneman, Coordinator of the Working Group on Agriculture.
- International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM): Mr. Gunnar Rundgren, President
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