A panel at the IFOAM EU Processing Conference have discussed challenges and opportunities together with Nicolas Verlet, new Head of the Organic Unit of DG Agri, EU Commission.
While the majority of Agricultural Ministers welcomed the overall approach set out in the Commission’s Communication, they outlined significant reservations that a new CAP with greater responsibility on Member States could increase the administrative burden for both Member States and farmers.
Jan Plagge, IFOAM EU, Vice-President: “Many Agriculture Ministers today acknowledged that the Commission Communication moves the CAP in the right direction by taking a more integrated approach to EU policy and introducing Strategic Plans covering both Pillar 1 and 2. Such flexibility has the potential to reach EU objectives more efficiently, and now it is time for the Member States to find concrete solutions, together with farmers and citizens, for developing effective strategic plans that can ensure an ambitious implementation of EU objectives and UN Sustainable Development Goals”.
Eduardo Cuoco, IFOAM EU, Director: “To guarantee strong investment in the EU agriculture sector Post-2020, Member States must call for an explicit link between farm income support and reaching common EU environmental and socio-economic objectives for sustainable agriculture to be enshrined in the next EU budget framework. Growing demand for organic food among EU consumers, and a proven track record in public goods delivery, shows that investment in organic farming can support efforts to shift the EU towards more integrated models of sustainable growth, that work for farmers, citizens, and the environment.”