Policy support for organic farming in the European Union - past achievements and future challenges

Organic farming has been supported in almost all EU Member States since the early 1990s by means of an EU-wide legal definition, agri-environmental conversion and maintenance payments, rural development marketing and processing grants, promotion funding, public procurement and research and information initiatives. Often the support has been combined in organic action plans, designed to integrate supply push and demand-pull measures. The latest CAP round (2023-2027) has delegated responsibility for setting organic farming policy to Member States, but with an EU Farm to Fork Strategy target of 25% of agricultural land area to be managed organically by 2030, and an expectation that Member States will implement policies and action plans for organic farming to help deliver this. This paper charts the development of organic farming in the EU since the 1990s, the motivations for policy support, and the types and levels of support implemented in the 2010-2020 period. It analyses how Member State plans for policy in the next five years compare with previous periods and whether they are able to meet the challenge of the 25% target.

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