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EU institutions join forces to launch the first annual organic day – EURACTIV.com

The European Parliament, Council and Committee gathered on Thursday (September 23) to celebrate the launch of the annual “EU Organic Day”, which aims to promote organic agriculture to promote its production and consumption in the EU.

The three agencies signed a joint declaration, designating September 23 each year as the EU Organic Day.

According to Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski, the annual Organic Day aims to raise awareness of organic production and promote “the key role that organic production plays in the transition to a sustainable food system”.

At the signing and launching ceremony, the commissioner described organic agriculture as “a sustainable type of agriculture where food production is in harmony with nature, biodiversity and animal welfare.”

The commissioner also pointed out that September 23 was specially chosen because it is also the autumnal equinox, with the same length of day and night. He described it as a “symbol of the balance between agriculture and the environment, which is very suitable for organic production.”

Organic agriculture is a focus of the committee.Under the EU’s flagship food policy, the farm-to-table strategy aims to Three times the land area By 2030, the proportion of organic agriculture in the EU will reach 25%.

In a committee statement issued that day, the EU executive outlined the many important benefits that organic production brings.

These include an increase in the biodiversity of organic fields by about 30%, organically farmed animals enjoy a higher degree of animal welfare, use less antibiotics, and organic farmers have higher incomes and are more adaptable.

This new EU Organic Day was released following the development of organic production action plan adopted by the Commission in March.

The plan revolves around a three-pronged attack-promoting consumption, increasing production and further improving the sustainability of the industry-and proposes actions aimed at significantly boosting the production and consumption of organic products in the EU.

Jan Plagge, President of the European Union’s Organics Association IFOAM, welcomed the creation of the new Organic Day, saying that this day was an “ideal opportunity” to evaluate Europe’s organic goals.

However, the Chairman of the Organic Movement added some cautionary notes when implementing the action plan, stating that the national CAP strategic plans of the member states will become the main engine for achieving the EU’s organic goals.

The draft of the national plan will be submitted to the Commission for approval before the end of the year. It is a key tool for EU countries to formulate how to achieve the EU’s nine goals​​.

Therefore, the Organic Association takes this opportunity to call on member states to “make full use of the possibilities provided by the new CAP to support the development of their national organic sector”.

“It’s time to reward organic farmers and traditional farmers who are transitioning to organic appropriately for the benefits they bring to nature and society, and to provide appropriate funding for farm consulting systems for organic and other agro-ecological practices,” he said.

When asked by EURACTIV how the committee plans to encourage member states to put organic at the forefront and center of their national CAP plans, the commissioner stated that he believes that EU countries will take advantage of the opportunities available.

“We will evaluate their ambitions and how they prove to increase organic farming,” he said.

However, he acknowledged that this may be challenging in some member states.

“It may be difficult to have a dialogue with member states that contribute little to organic agriculture,” he said, emphasizing that in some EU countries, only 3-4% of agricultural land is grown under organic agriculture.

“But this will be a question of dialogue with member states,” he said.

EU Agriculture Commissioner refutes concerns over 25% organic target

Due to increasing attention to the goal of organically farming 25% of EU farmland by 2030, EU Commissioner for Agriculture Janusz Wojciechowski expressed support for the plan and emphasized that the plan is achievable. But farmers are still worried that, for the time being, supply is likely to exceed demand, which they say may “kill” the industry.

[Edited by Alice Taylor]

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