On 28 June 2017, the Presidency of the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament reached a preliminary agreement on an overhaul of the existing EU rules on organic production and labelling of organic products. The agreement sets more modern and uniform rules across the EU with the aim of encouraging the sustainable development of organic production in the EU.
The new rules also aim to guarantee fair competition for farmers and operators, prevent fraud and unfair practices and improve consumer confidence in organic products. The MEP, rapporteur and chief negotiator for the European Parliament, Martin Häusling, said: “After 20 months of negotiations we have managed to reach an agreement, which will help organic sector, grow and will increase consumers’ trust in organic foodstuffs. It was a laborious task but I believe new rules will bring benefits to both EU consumers and organic farmers”.
Among others, the new rules will, in particular:
- increase consumer confidence by strengthening the control system;
- make the life of organic farmers easier by enhancing legal clarity and allowing for further harmonisation and simplification of production rules;
- develop new trade agreements with third countries; and
- enlarge the scope of organic rules to cover a wider list of products (such as salt, cork, beeswax).
The agreement still needs to be approved by the Council’s Special Committee on Agriculture (SCA). After formal endorsement by the Council, the new legislation will be submitted to the European Parliament for a vote at first reading and to the Council for final adoption. The new regulation will apply from 1 July 2020.
Further information is available at the following LINK.
Giovanna Bagnardi e Davide Scavuzzo