In fact we have two parts of the perspective. On the one hand there is a huge growth of organic consumption and an organic production to follow the the demand. And on the other hand we have the fear of abuse and facing the fact that people could offer a fake of organic quality to cover the gap.” In recent years the organic market in the EU, driven by steadily increasing demand, has developed significantly (19.7 billion euro with a 9% growth rate in 20111). In parallel, during the last decade, the number of organic producers as well as the surface under organic production have grown at a fast pace. Each year, 500.000 hectares of agricultural land convert to organic in the Union. In the period 2000-2012, the total organic area2 has increased by 6.7% yearly on average, to reach an estimated 9.6 million ha, which is 5.4% of the total utilised agricultural area in the EU. Organic aquaculture production is also growing fast, following the introduction of EU rules in 2009.
The sector encompasses producers in the agricultural and aquaculture sectors, as well their suppliers, food manufacturers and distributors who all comply with strict rules.
The overall challenge faced by the organic sector is to ensure a steady growth of supply and demand, while maintaining consumers’ trust. It is essential to guarantee the credibility of the scheme and the added value in a long term perspective.
The ambition of the Action Plan is to support the growth of the sector, together with the forthcoming changes to the legislative framework in particular by exploring new medium and long term avenues for solutions to the challenges of supply and demand.
This Action Plan also offers a contribution to the objectives set out in the Europe 20203 Strategy, and the reviewed Common Agricultural Policy. Taking into account that environmental protection is an overarching objective of organic production, the Action Plan also contributes to the objectives of the 7th Environment Action Programme to 20204.
The Action plan will engage further partnerships and mobilise actors involved in its implementation, in particular Member States and stakeholders.”