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AbstractThe paper gives a number of reasons why a European action plan for organic farming is needed. The elements of a European action plan are outlined. A first step of an action plan is to find as much as possible a coherent description and understanding of the situation of organic farming in Europe at the outset and the barriers to further expansion. Strategic decisions that have to be taken carefully are identified: What weight should be given to organic farming policy? Why does policy want to support organic farming? Is organic farming just a system for less favoured regions? How important are the protectionist elements in organic farming policy? The answers to these questions are important to choosing an effective policy mix. The paper argues that the following policies should be part of a European action plan: • Informing the consumer, especially developing a unified approach to a widely recognised common logo based on EU regulation 2092/91 and subsequent legislation. • Improving the functioning of the organic chain: Production, processing, distribution within the supply chain with major emphasis on improving information, education, technology development, research and extension for organic farming and its process chain. • Supporting organic farmers financially as remuneration for the production of public goods. • Reviewing related policies with direct influence on organic farming such as the general measures of the common agricultural policy or tax laws and others, in particular removing production constraints such as set-aside aimed originally at conventional producers. • Supporting creative conflict between conventional and organic farmers and building as much as possible a consensus on the long term objectives with respect to organic farming. A high priority should be given to measures dealing with improving the information on organic farming to consumers. It is recommended to closely monitor any realisation of an action plan and to adapt the plan accordingly. In order to turn already the development of the plan into a catalytic process for the organic sector it is important to involve the stakeholders in a systematic way.
TypeConference paper, poster, etc.
Dabbert, S.; Zanoli, R. and Lampkin, N. (2001) Elements of a European Action Plan for Organic Farming. In: Proceedings of the European Conference – Organic Food and Farming, The Danish Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, pp. 149-161.