The current COVID-19 pandemic has far reaching effects on Europe, life as we know it, agriculture and the organic sector.
The European Commission already announced special measures to address some impacts of COVID-19 on the food and farming sector and is reviewing its 2020 work programme. However, it should not delay publishing the Farm to Fork Strategy and other initiatives like the EU Biodiversity Strategy. The goals and targets the organic movement expects to be set in the Farm to Fork strategy will be influential for the ongoing CAP negotiations, namely on the level of ambition and support that Member States will grant for organic farming.
IFOAM EU believes it is important that this strategy is published before the CAP negotiations will be finalised. Furthermore, the European Green Deal must be placed at the heart of the EU’s post-pandemic recovery plan. The COVID-19 crisis should not weaken current environmental requirements.
At the same time, organic operators need to be able to continue providing EU citizens with good quality (and quantity of) food. That is why we believe it is necessary that the application of the new EU Organic Regulation should be postponed for one year. It should not become effective at the beginning of next year, but in January 2022. This would allow organic producers and the organic control system to focus on responding to the COVID-19 crisis. However, this call should not be used to amend other parts of the basic regulation. IFOAM EU’s members can read more information in a letter by IFOAM EU’s President Jan Plagge to the Agriculture Commissioner, the Members of the EU Parliament and the EU Member States on the member extranet.
IFOAM EU members who want to know more about what is happening with regards to COVID-19 on a global, European and national level are invited to have a look at and contribute to our COVID-19 working document. It is available on our member extranet (under Hot Topics) and collects all relevant information about the impact of COVID-19 on the agricultural (organic) sector.
Are you an IFOAM EU member who has issues accessing the member extranet? Contact communication [at] ifoam-eu.org.