European Green Deal: the Commission presents actions to boost organic production
On March 25, the Commission presented an Action Plan for the development of organic production with the intention to boost the production and consumption of organic products, reaching 25% of agricultural land under organic farming by 2030, as well as to increase organic aquaculture significantly.
The Action Plan is in line with the European Green Deal and the Farm to Fork and Biodiversity Strategies and it is designed to provide the already fast-growing organic sector with the right tools to achieve the 25% target.
A sustainable and resilient agricultural and aquaculture sector depends on enhanced biodiversity, which is fundamental for a healthy ecosystem and critical for maintaining nutrients cycles in the soil, clean water and pollinators. Increased biodiversity allows farmers to adapt better to climate change. The organic sector is by its very nature-oriented towards higher environmental standards, enshrined in its objectives and principles. Research will be key for the achievement of these objectives.
Some agricultural practices are the main obstacles to the EU’s freshwaters and marine waters achieving good status under both the water framework and the marine framework Directives. This is mainly due to the diffuse pollution of nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) and pesticides.
Around 38% of the EU’s surface water bodies are under pressure from diffuse pollution (of which, at 25%, agricultural production is a major source), from water abstraction for irrigation, and from hydro-morphological changes (e.g. due to drainage). Climate change will increase irrigation needs in the EU and reduce water availability. For this reason, the Commission will promote:
– The more efficient and sustainable use of water
– The increased use of renewable energy and clean transport
– The reduction of nutrient release, in all types of farming, with organic farming leading the way, and with the involvement of the Member States through their CAP Strategic Plans, as well as with the new Strategic Guidelines for aquaculture and EMFAF.
To check the full action plan, please click here.