Originally, organic farming was a localised, self-regulating agricultural practice driven by distinct ethical values. In the last decades organic agriculture has undergone significant growth and development, and now it exhibits organic industries and international trade. Today there is a large number of different standards, labels and certification bodies, and this is confusing for consumers, traders and the organic farming industry. The EU regulation 2092/91 can therefore be of high importance for the credibility and harmonisation of organic standards.
The overall objective of this research project is to provide recommendations for development of the EU regulation for organic agriculture.
The project will identify the basic ethical values and value differences in organic agriculture and develop a procedure for balancing and integrating the basic values in revisions of the EU regulation (WP2). It will also establish an organic standards database that enables comparison of national and international organic standards with the EU regulation, and analyse the exposed differences (WP3). It is expected that these outcomes will help identify trade barriers, provide a better understanding of the ongoing development of organic agriculture and how it can be regulated, enable regionalisation of the organic production and support harmonisation as well as simplification of the EU regulation so that it may constitute a better basis for communicating in a transparent way with consumers, producers, policy makers and other stakeholders.
The project will provide specific recommendations on the derogations of the use of conventional feed (WP4) and seed (WP5) in the EU regulation. It will assess the availability of organic seeds and propagation materials and develop information exchange and decision criteria for the seed regime. It will also survey the supply and demand of organic feeds and feed additives and develop evaluation criteria for specific feed and feed additives, thus ensuring animal welfare as well as the credibility of organic agriculture. This is expected to reduce the dependency on inputs from conventional production in organic farming systems. Implementation of the results will be by means of web-page and 3 workshops in close collaboration with the Commission (WP6).
The overall objective of this project is to