The European Organic Congress demanded improvement of the policy framework for the organic sector
Brussels(14/12/2007 ) – Most speeches and presentations from the European Organic Congress (1), which took place last week in Brussels , are now available at the congress website, maintained by the organising IFOAM EU Group (2) to inform about the outcomes from the congress and provide an opportunity to commenton it. The IFOAM EU Group also invites contributions to the evaluationof the event.
The congress, which gathered a record number of more than 300 representatives of the organic sector from all over Europe, started with an opening speech by the EU Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel on the EU policy for the sector and concluded with a list of political recommendations, worked out by the participating stakeholders, for the improvement of the policy framework for its operation.
The conclusions from the congress demand for the following necessary steps:
(1) To make organic farming a specific focus of the environmental measures to be developed as part of the CAP Health Check.
(2) To ensure that some of the proposed increase in rural development funding is targeted at organic farming, in particular in regions and member states that have so far given a low priority to organic farming support.
(3) To support the development of a dedicated organic research vision and ideas forum to act as a focus for identifying priorities in research and development and knowledge.
(4) To improve the involvement of stakeholders in the process of reforming the EU regulation defining organic food and farming.
(5) To maintain the integrity of organic food with reference to core values to protect against devaluing the concept as the market expands.
(6) To continue to campaign for GMO policies that protect the GM free status of organic products and ensure that liability for contamination is consistent with the polluter pays principle.
(7) To recognise the urgency for rapid adoption of organic production due to rapidly increasing oil prices and the prospect of oil shortages in the foreseeable future.
The congress was the major political event of the organic movement in the EU in 2007. It tackled the problems of growth of the dynamically developing organic production and consumption in the frame of the EU and national agriculture and rural development policies. The full text of the official conclusions from the event will be presented to both stakeholders and responsible institutions shortly.
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