An informal meeting of EU Agriculture Ministers will take place this week with discussions set to be centred around organic production.

During the last 10 years until 2012, the amount of land being used for organic farming in the EU has doubled with an increase by about 500,000 hectares per year.

Over the period 2000-2012, the overall organically farmed area increased by approximately 6.7% annually, reaching 10.1m hectares that is 5.7% of all agricultural area land in the EU.

The Latvian Presidency has prepared a discussion document on organic farming to be addressed at the Council.

The document incorporates a short description of the current situation and the development of organic agriculture in the EU and outlines possible future challenges, which the sector could face in the coming years.

Taking into consideration the rapid development of the sector, the EU must react to the growing demand for organic products without putting at risk consumers’ confidence in the principles of organic farming and in the quality of organic products.

There is also a need to harmonise the regulatory framework to ensure a level playing field and to reduce the risk of fraud.

Discussion will also be held on the existing problems between the organic and conventional farmers to ensure adequate co-existence between the two systems.

The Presidency is offering the Ministers for Agriculture two discussion items:

  • Which of the existing policy instruments have been successful in addressing the challenges? Why?
  • What should be done at EU and international level as regards future policy instruments to address the challenges?

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