Bio-business needs EU rules

Olio Officina

European consumers are demanding more “bio”. As a matter of fact both surfaces and sales grow by 6 percent and EU organic sector is worth 18 billion Euros a year. One “green” trend linked to environmental sustainability but that needs uptodate rules. In this sense, the reform of legislation in Brussels encourage a process of conversion of conventional farms to organic cultivation methods, while improving and maintaining consumers’ confidence. It emerged today from the conference “The reform of organic farming in the EU” organized by the CIA-Italian Farmers Confederation in Brussels at the European Economic and Social Committee, with the presence of several members of the Commission and the EU Parliament, from Paolo de Castro to Martin Häusling and Diego Canga Fano; experts and representatives of the organic sector, from the President of Federbio Paul Carnemolla to the organic agriculture Working Group of Copa-Cogeca Edouard Rousseau; and the president of Ceja Matteo Bartolini, the president of the section of the Nat Cese Dilyana Slavova, the president of Anabio-Cia Federico Marchini and, above all, the national president of the CIA Dino Scanavino.

In recent years the biological sector registered a sustained growth in consumption. In Germany the turnover of the “bio” now exceeds 7 billion euro a year, followed by France (4 billion) and the UK (2 billion). Then comes Italy, with 1.9 billion value of the internal market (3.1 if you include the export).

But, pointed out CIA, there should be a uniform regulation at European level, in order to fight against fraud and to inform consumers, to eliminate unnecessary or ineffective provisions and to improve the environmental performance of the production method, in view of the evolution of the issues related to climate change. Many of these objectives as the reduction of the provisions, the uniformity European rules on imports and labeling are contained in the proposal of Commission Regulation. In addition, according to the CIA, it is necessary to strive towards companies that are fully organic and not mixed, but providing derogations for exceptional situations, especially for permanent crops or for particular farms.

Notwithstanding the absolute ban on the use of GM seeds or chemically treated, however, it is useful to maintain a dynamic system of derogations that allows the farmer to cultivate species and varieties not yet consolidated in the organic seed industry. In addition, the CIA agrees with the Commission on the need to reduce, with the same effectiveness, the costs of certification for small businesses. Finally, according to the Confederation should be approved as soon as possible the new EU Regulation on organic sector, but the implementation is necessary to ensure a smooth transition phase without uncertainties or loopholes.


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