The Second Round Table of the Eastern European countries ‘Organic Agriculture and Legal Framework’ was conducted in Kyiv, Ukraine on November 5 and 6, 2008. Participants of the public and private sector from eleven countries discussed the opportunities of organic agriculture. The Round Table was organized by FiBL and the Ministry of Agrarian Policy of Ukraine and supported by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and the National Association of Agricultural Advisory Services of Ukraine.
At the meeting participants shared their experiences with the development of organic farming their countries. Andrzej Dycha, Under-Sectretary of State at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Poland stressed the importance of organic agriculture which has given new prospects to Polish farmers. 12’000 farmers are farming organically in Poland, representing an increase of 500 % in five years. The farmers are encouraged by national support measures such as research, subsidies for control costs and the rural development activities. Since 2007 an Action Plan for Organic Food and Farming is further strengthening the organic development in the field of information, science, control, economy and promotion.
Deputy Minister Jiri Urban from Czech Republic explained the national support measures contributing to the prosperous domestic market for organic products in Czech Republic. Such measures include the legal framework, an effective control and certification system, support for farmers, eduction of consumers, promotion activities and, since 2007, the support of processing companies.
On the second day the Ukraine participants discussed the current draft of the organic agriculture law which is expected to be passed by the Parliament in 2009. In a closed workshop representatives of the Ministries exchanged their experience in the implementation of legal frameworks and explored the potential for further cooperation. It was agreed that further exchange between authorities and certification bodies on the regional level should be supported.
The participants and speakers represented the public and private sector from Ukraine, Albania, Czech Republic, Macedonia FYROM, Moldavia, Montenegro, Poland, Slovenia, Switzerland and the European Union.
Homepage of the European project ORGAP (Development of criteria and procedures for the evaluation of the European Action Plan for Organic Agriculture): www.orgap.org
Beate Huber, FiBL, Ackerstrasse, CH-5070 Frick, Switzerland
Natalie Prokopchuk, FiBL, Kyiv; Project Coordinator Swiss-Ukrainian project “Organic Certification and Market Development in Ukraine”