The entry into force of the new European BIO Regulation is postponed 1 year
07 Sep 2020
The European Commission launched last Friday a public consultation until November 27 on its future action plan on organic farming.
Organic farming is a sector that the Commission recognizes must make a significant contribution to realizing the ambition of the European Green Deal and achieving the objectives set out in the Biodiversity and Farm to Table strategies.
Likewise, with the Commission’s resolution on Friday, the entry into force of the new European Organic Production Regulation was postponed for one year, in the absence of approval. This announcement has been welcomed by the European organic food and agriculture movement as well as by the Spanish Society for Organic Agriculture (SEAE).
As reported by the SEAE, the new organic regulation provides for the adoption of numerous delegated acts and implementing measures to specify technical standards linked, for example, to organic production standards, group certification or the organic control system.
From IFOAM Organics Europe they have highlighted that “many of these technical requirements still have to be debated and adopted by the Member States, leaving in the best of cases, only a few weeks for organic operators to adapt to the new regulations and for organic certifiers are accredited according to these new rules. ” Likewise, “it is necessary to give the institutions more time to finalize the discussions on this complex set of secondary legislation to guarantee the quality and applicability of future rules.”
Regarding the Action Plan, Jan Plagge, President of IFOAM Organics Europe, says that “a new EU action plan for organic agriculture is crucial to make Europe more organic. This action plan should live up to the ambition set out by the “Biodiversity and Farm-to-Table Strategies”: to achieve 25% green land in the EU by 2030, with time-bound targets, an adequate budget and a real influence on the national strategic plans of the CAP ”. On the other hand, Plagge has welcomed the Commission’s plans to allocate a budget of 40 million euros to organic farming in the framework of the promotion policy in 2021: “This type of concrete measures is what we need to boost demand and raise awareness about the benefits of organic production, which is a key factor in the action plan ”.
The SEAE also celebrates this postponement, “as it will allow the sector to prepare to comply with the new regulatory framework with the necessary conditions and guarantees,” they comment. “The new regulation incorporates very new aspects that affect different competences and for its application it would help to have guides or recommendations”.
For its part, Ecovalia, the Spanish professional association for organic production, has expressed its satisfaction after learning about the European Commission’s proposal to delay the application of the new European Regulation for organic production (Reg. (EU) 848/2018) to 2022 , initially scheduled for January 1, 2021. Álvaro Barrera, President of Ecovalia, recalls that last April “in view of the serious crisis situation generated by Covid-19, we requested in writing to the Minister of Agriculture, Luis Planas, that will lead the request to delay the application of the new Regulation, since some of the normative elements, of vital importance for the sector in Spain, have not yet been defined ”.
Janusz Wojciechowski, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, said: ‘The Biodiversity and Farm to Table strategies set ambitious targets to ensure that the agricultural sector is ready to make its contribution to the Green Deal. Organic farming will be a key ally in the transition we are leading towards a more sustainable food system and better protection of our biodiversity. The Commission will support the organic sector in achieving the target of dedicating 25% of agricultural land to organic farming by 2030 with the right policy and legal framework. ‘
The future action plan on organic farming, which is expected to be adopted in early 2021, will be an important instrument to accompany the future growth of the sector. The Commission’s Biodiversity and Farm-to-Table strategies include a target of dedicating 25% of agricultural land to organic farming by 2030.