Angélique Delahaye MEP
Chair of the “Biodiversity & Ecosystem Services” working group of the EP Intergroup on “Climate Change, Biodiversity, and Sustainable Development”
Marc Tarabella MEP
Member of the EP Committee on “Agriculture and Rural Development”
The demand for organic products on the European market is growing exponentially and at a much higher rate than the conversion to organic agriculture and the financial support provided to this emerging sector. To meet this demand, European importers rely on organic products from third countries. This way, with the idea of facilitating imports, the European Union has consented to setting up an “equivalence” system in its regulation.
However, certain agricultural products introduced on the EU market under this scheme could amount to “fake organic” as unauthorized plant protection products, which are not even allowed in conventional European agriculture, are used in some exporting countries.
This system puts the entire sector, the European producers, and the 500 million European consumers at great risk: a distortion of competition for European producers, a loss of confidence in the EU organic label among consumers who will switch to conventional local products, and thus the end of the EU Organic Label. How can this be avoided?
The aim of this conference was to highlight the risks posed by the equivalence system and to suggest ideas for reflection on the future of the European organic label.
A summary report will be available in the coming days.