Europe Plans to Triple Agricultural Land Dedicated to Organic Farming by 2030

Olive farmers will be among the benefactors of European programs targeted at stimulating the consumption of organic products and financing the transition to organic farms.
Mar. 26, 2021
Daniel Dawson

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The European Commission has announced a plan to grow the share of agri­cul­tural land under organic farm­ing in the European Union to 25 per­cent by 2030 as part of the bloc’s Farm to Fork Strategy.

Currently, about 8.5 per­cent – 13.8 mil­lion hectares – of all agri­cul­tural land in the E.U. is farmed organ­i­cally. According to data from Eurostat, 9.8 per­cent of the bloc’s 4.6 mil­lion hectares of olive groves are organ­i­cally cul­ti­vated.

Increased organic pro­duc­tion is cen­tral to the tran­si­tion to more sus­tain­able agri­cul­ture and aqua­cul­ture sec­tors that pro­vide fair incomes for farm­ers and con­tribute to vibrant European rural and coastal areas.- European Commission, 

The European Commission esti­mates that organic agri­cul­tural prod­ucts in the 27-mem­ber bloc are cur­rently val­ued at about €41 bil­lion.

By pro­duc­ing high-qual­ity food with low envi­ron­men­tal impact, organic farm­ing will play an essen­tial role in devel­op­ing a sus­tain­able food sys­tem for the E.U.,” the European Commission said.

See Also: Italian Olive Sector Must Focus on Quality for Future Success, Report Finds

Before the Commission made its announce­ment, the share of agri­cul­tural land under organic farm­ing prac­tices was already on pace to reach between 15 and 18 per­cent by 2030.

The 25 per­cent tar­get sig­nif­i­cantly increases our ambi­tion,” the Commission said in its report. This action plan aims to encour­age a marked increase of the share of organic farm­ing in the E.U., through encour­ag­ing farm­ers to con­vert to organic farm­ing and to expand the acces­si­bil­ity of organic food to close the gap between a busi­ness-as-usual growth curve and the extra effort’ nec­es­sary to reach a 25 per­cent tar­get by 2030.”

The Commission plans to reach its new tar­get by stim­u­lat­ing organic food con­sump­tion in the bloc. It has pro­posed to do this by pro­mot­ing the organic farm­ing logo applied to food prod­ucts in the E.U., improv­ing trace­abil­ity and crack­ing down on food fraud to increase con­sumer trust.

The Commission also plans to increase the rate at which farm­ers are con­vert­ing to organic prac­tices by pro­vid­ing finan­cial sup­port and incen­tives to do so through the Common Agricultural Policy, pro­mot­ing organic pro­ducer asso­ci­a­tions and strength­en­ing local and small-vol­ume pro­duc­tion chains.

The ulti­mate goal of the plan is to add value to European agri­cul­ture and increase the sus­tain­abil­ity of the sec­tor, which is one of the largest emit­ters of green­house gases on the con­ti­nent.

The E.U. has a lead­ing role to play in the pro­mo­tion of changes in farm­ing prac­tices,” the report con­cluded. Increased organic pro­duc­tion is cen­tral to the tran­si­tion to more sus­tain­able agri­cul­ture and aqua­cul­ture sec­tors that pro­vide fair incomes for farm­ers and con­tribute to vibrant European rural and coastal areas.”





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