Last week EU officials and organic stakeholders met for the Eighth European Organic Congress, and the message was unanimous: the continued development of the organic sector is key for a healthy Europe.

The congress, which met in Bari, Italy September 10, invited European policymakers at the national and regional levels, as well as stakeholder in the organic sector, to discuss the direction of the burgeoning industry.

Maurizio Martina, the Italian minister of agriculture explained that his country is pushing for further regulation of the industry through the European Council. The Council, which is made up of the heads of government of EU-member states, is the official body which defines the bloc’s policy agenda.

Italy is represented by Matteo Renzi, the country’s President of the Council of Ministers.

The regulation in question is a package proposed by the Commission aimed at improving growth opportunities for the organic sector. One key component is the preservation of the EU organic certification logo, according to Alina-Stefania Ujupan, the deputy head of cabinet for the European Commissioner of Agriculture and Rural Development.

“The organic sector has made dramatic progress in recent years, and there is scope for continued growth – above all if consumer confidence remains strong,” she said.

The labeling and regulation of food products has become an increasingly contentious issue across the globe, as California producers have moved to introduce a first-of-its-kind olive oil grading initiative which would equate to regulations stricter than those found in Europe.

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