On September 24, the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission celebrated the launch of an annual ‘European Organic Day’. The three institutions signed a joint declaration now establishing the European Organic Day every 23 September. This follows the Action plan for the development of organic production, adopted by the Commission on March 25, 2021, which announced the creation of such an awareness day for organic production.
At the signing and launching ceremony, Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski said: “Today we celebrate organic production, a type of sustainable agriculture where food production is done in harmony with nature, biodiversity and animal welfare. September 23 is also the autumnal equinox, when the day and night are equally long, a symbol of balance between agriculture and the environment which is ideal for organic production. I am happy that together with the European Parliament, the Council and the key players in this sector, we can launch this annual EU Organic Day, a great opportunity to raise awareness about organic production and promote the key role it plays. plays in the transition to sustainable food systems production.
The overall objective of the action plan for the development of organic production is to significantly stimulate the production and consumption of organic products in order to contribute to the achievement of the objectives of the farm-to-fork and biodiversity strategies such as reducing the use of fertilizers, pesticides and antimicrobials. The organic sector needs the right tools to develop, as indicated in the action plan. Structured around three axes – increase consumption, increased production, and further improve the sustainability of the sector – 23 actions are proposed to ensure balanced growth in the sector.
To stimulate consumption, the action plan includes actions such as information and communication on organic production, promoting the consumption of organic products and stimulating greater use of organic products in public canteens. through public procurement. In addition, to increase organic production, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) will remain a key tool to support the conversion to organic farming. It will be complemented, for example, by information and networking events for the sharing of best practices and certification for groups of farmers rather than individuals. Finally, to improve the sustainability of organic farming, the Commission will devote at least 30% of the research and innovation budget in the field of agriculture, forestry and rural areas to specific or relevant topics. for the organic sector.
Organic production has a number of important advantages: organic fields have around 30% more biodiversity, organically farmed animals enjoy a higher degree of animal welfare and take fewer antibiotics, organic farmers have higher incomes and are more resilient, and consumers know exactly what they are getting from the EU organic logo.