The potential benefits of the new EU norms on organics

Thu 26/04/2018 by Richard Wilkinson

The EU’s reforms for governing organic farming can offer the sector better protection. This is the view of MEP Martin Hausling who underlines that the sector is booming. The reforms will offer more consistent controls against fraud and better measures to prevent contamination. It will also ensure a level playing field as all imports of organic products will have to meet the same standards as those produced within the EU. There will be greater harmonisation of production standards for non-EU countries with which no bilateral trade agreements exist. At present, there are over 64 different production standards across the globe. An exemption for demarcated beds (approximately 18 ha) in Scandinavia will remains in force for a further ten years.

The will be an overhaul in the use of seeds, with suppliers encouraged to offer more locally adapted traditional varieties, which have the benefit of tending to be more disease-resistant. These varieties were previously only sold under difficult conditions in Europe. Moreover, with the new norms governing group certification, small producers will be able to form alliances to reduce certification and control costs. A further benefit regards the exchange of information, with organic breeders able to offer their products publicly via Member State platforms. This will provide farmers in the EU with a fuller picture regarding the availability of organically bred plants.

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