Data inizio
02 Mar 2023
Rassegna stampa

At the end of 2021, Germany’s government coalition agreed that organic farming should account for 30% of arable land by 2030, surpassing the EU-wide target of 25%.

To achieve this goal, the agreement also provided for a future organic farming strategy. While this had already been presented in 2019 by former agriculture minister Julia Klöckner of the conservative CDU party, the new agreement put forward by the current government of Chancellor Olaf Scholz proposed to revise and expand the strategy to include the entire value chain.

At last BioFach trade fair in Nuremberg, the State Secretary of the Agriculture Ministry, Silvia Bender, gave an update on the strategy’s progress. “How and what we eat has far-reaching effects on the environment, biodiversity and climate in Germany and worldwide, on animals as our fellow creatures and, last but not least, on our health and well-being – that is why organic farming is needed,” Bender explained during the event.

At the same time, consumers need “more information” about how organic farming contributes to environmental and climate protection.

More organic foods in canteens, restaurants

On 15 February, the government passed amendments pushing for more organic products in catering outside the home, such as canteens, cafeterias and restaurants. The amendments, approved by the cabinet, are to form the basis for a planned ordinance on organic catering outside the home, which is currently being formalised.

Within the framework of the organic farming strategy, the ministry is seeking to launch an information campaign to make consumers aware of the “social benefits” and other advantages of organic products, Bender announced at the event. “We hope this will provide further impetus for increased demand for organic products,” said the State Secretary.

Organic associations had long been calling for the promotion of organic produce not only for producers but also for distribution and consumers. However, the demand for organic food in Germany already exceeds domestic production for many products. The latest sector report of the organic food industry also concludes that production increases in the past year could hardly keep up with the growing demand. As such, an increase in demand would not necessarily lead to an increase in domestic production but would have to be covered by imports, at least in the short term.

Investing in research

Bender also presented planned measures that go beyond the consumer side, including strengthening the organic value chains and more investment in research on organic agriculture. In the future, for example, 30% of the research budget available to the ministry is to flow into organic research.

Germany’s strategic plan for implementing the reformed Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), which came into force at the start of this year, also includes several measures to promote organic farming.

Yet according to the German Organic Food Association, known as BÖLW, these are financially insufficient to reach the 30% target and would only account for 12% by 2030.

For the transition to more organic farming to succeed, the Agriculture Ministry must “include organic in all legislative procedures – from the CAP to labelling”, the association explained in a press release that followed the event.

According to the sector report, the share of organically farmed land grew by just under 4% to about 11% of total arable land last year – but it is still far from the 30% target.

Source: Euractive