The European Parliament, the Council, and the Commission launched an annual “EU organic day” on September 24. The three institutions issued a unified declaration designating September 23 as EU Organic Day going forward.
This is in response to the Commission’s Action Plan for the Development of Organic Agriculture, which announced the formation of such a day to increase awareness of organic production on March 25, 2021.
The overall goal of the Action Plan for the Development of Organic Production is to significantly increase organic product production and consumption in order to contribute to the Farm to Fork and Biodiversity strategies’ goals of lowering the use of fertilizers, pesticides, and anti-microbials. As outlined in the Action Plan, the organic industry requires the necessary instruments to thrive. 23 steps are proposed to ensure balanced growth of the sector, organized around three axes: growing demand, increasing production, and further strengthening the sector’s sustainability.
The Action Plan includes initiatives such as informing and communicating about organic production, promoting organic product consumption, and encouraging more use of organics in public canteens through public procurement to increase consumption. Furthermore, in order to boost organic production, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) will continue to be an important tool for promoting organic farming. It will be supplemented with events and networking for sharing best practices and certification for groups of farmers rather than individuals, for example.
Finally, in order to ensure the long-term viability of organic farming, the Commission will devote at least 30% of its budget for research and innovation in agriculture, forestry, and rural areas to organic-specific or linked themes.
Organic farming has a number of important advantages: organic fields have around 30% more biodiversity, organically farmed animals have a higher level of animal welfare and use fewer antibiotics, organic farmers earn more and are more resilient, and consumers know exactly what they are getting thanks to the EU organic logo.