Promotion of organic farming: the vow of the EU’s new agriculture Commissioner (IT)


The EU Commissioner for Agriculture, Janusz Wojciechowski, highlighted in his inaugural speech the promotion of organic farming as a key aim for the new European Commission.  Access to land for young farmers and a focus on transport issues were other highlights of the Commissioner’s speech at the EU Agricultural Outlook conference.

The conference is a key annual gathering of European stakeholders, designed to engage and discuss the future of agriculture in Europe and the challenges which lie ahead.

Wojciechowski highlighted a particular focus on supporting organic practices, saying that he wants to decrease intensive farming, including a reduction in the intensive use of pesticides and fertilisers. He said that this involves the creation of an appropriate “offensive” action plan, which will be implemented within the next year. He added as well that this will involve a contribution to the EU “Farm to Fork strategy”, looking at how organic production can help the agri-food sector improve its sustainability across the agri-food supply chain, and he said the way to do this must be with “carrots, rather than sticks”, indicating that the CAP must be used to incentivise best practices.

According to Wojciechowski, there are more than 12 million hectares of organic production in the EU across 200,000 farms, but the production and uptake of organic food differ considerably between member states, with rates of consumption of organic produce varying between 10% and 0.5% across the EU.