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Discussions on new EU organic regulation continue

In January 2016, the Dutch Presidency of the Council took over the role of steering the Member States through the trilogue negotiations with the Parliament and the Commission on the organic dossier with aim to finish by June this year. During the first three trilogue meetings – the first two held under the Luxembourgish Presidency in 2015 – not much progress was made and the key issues remain unresolved.

Still discussions on decertification threshold and import regulations

The Commission’s initial proposal to establish a decertification threshold for non-authorised substances and the intention to move the organic control system into the food safety regulation are still far from being resolved. This is despite the other two EU institutions quite clearly demanding a reversal of these two Commission proposals. In particular for the threshold, as with the organic sector, the Council and the Parliament have rejected the idea of having a decertification threshold as it would make farmers responsible for practices beyond their control.

On import, the three institutions are a bit closer but still discussing how much flexibility there should be in allowing the EU rules to adapt to different global conditions. The Council and Parliament are also much closer to the sector position in this case, and have clearly stated that “regional differences in ecological balance, climate and local conditions, as well as specific production practices” should be taken into account. IFOAM EU continues to follow the process closely and is in continuous contact with the three EU institutions and Member States, in order to obtain a regulation that supports the development of the sector both in terms of principles and growth.

The trilogue talks will continue this week.  

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