Brussels, 6 February 2003
Organic farming: Commission asks public to have their say
The European Commission has today launched an Internet consultation about the future of organic farming. Based on a working document that analyses the possibility of a European action plan for organic food and farming, members of the public have the opportunity to voice their opinions on questions like: How do we ensure that the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) supports the development of organic farming, and the traceability and authenticity of organic food? How do we reinforce the use of the EU organic farming logo? The working document, which proposes a number of ideas for this future action plan, also aims to describe the development of organic farming in the EU and analyse where bottlenecks exist in production and marketing processes. On the basis of the information received through the online consultation, and following discussion with Member States and other stakeholders, the Commission will develop proposals for a future action plan before the end of 2003.
"Organic farming lies close to the heart of many consumers. This online consultation provides them with the opportunity to voice their opinions on a future action plan for organic farming. This is another step to make the CAP more transparent and consumer oriented." said Franz Fischler, Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries.
The sixth Community Environment Action programme, the sustainable development strategy that was outlined at the Göteburg summit, and the Environmental Integration Strategy of the Agriculture Council all emphasise the importance of organic farming, its positive contribution to the environment and the need for it to be supported inter alia by the CAP. Therefore, the main elements identified in the working paper are:
A summary of the results of the online consultation will be published online during summer 2003. The Commission will bring forward the final action plan at the end of the year. The public has until the 16th March 2003 to submit their reactions and ideas.
To consult the document and take part in the survey, please go to: