The EU’s new organic rules that will come into effect next year will reflect the changing nature of this rapidly growing sector. The new regulations are designed to ensure fair competition for farmers whilst preventing fraud and maintaining consumer trust in several ways. The production rules will be simplified and the control system strengthened, meaning that producers in third countries will have to comply with the same rules as EU producers. Moreover, organic rules will cover a wider range of products (e.g. salt, cork, beeswax, maté, vine leaves, palm hearts). Meanwhile, certification will be made easier to obtain for small farmers thanks to a new system of group certification. In order to reduce risks of pesticide contamination, a uniform approach will be applied, with exemptions for production in demarcated beds in greenhouses being phased out.
In March 2021, the Commission launched an organic action plan for the EU. The action plan is aimed to achieve the European Green Deal target of 25% of agricultural land under organic farming by 2030. The plan is comprised of 23 actions aimed at boosting demand and ensuring consumer trust, stimulating conversion and reinforcing the entire value chain, as well as improving efforts towards environmental sustainability and the value of organics.