Germany’s minister for food and farming, Christian Schmidt, says that EU law-makers must “acknowledge the special holistic aspects of organic production” as they continue to formulate a revised EU Organic Regulation.
In his keynote speech at the opening ceremony at last week’s Biofach exhibition, Schmidt warned “we must not make the Organic Regulation a quasi-conventional regulation”. He told a packed auditorium: “The Regulation must meet consumer expectations, but it must also be practical and appropriate to producers’ needs”.
Reconfirming Germany’s commitment to make 20% of farming production organic, Schmidt said that expanding organic agricultural production would help the wider organic sector to grow. And he said that Germany’s position as the world’s second biggest organic producer showed “you can have economic growth and sustainability.”
Schmidt told the audience: “Organic has two great areas of potential – economic an environmental. We cannot live without realizing the potential of preserving biodiversity and we need to work together to get this message out into the mainstream (discussion)”.
The minister said that people “are waking up to the issues and want to know what is in their food”. But he called on the organic sector to help change society’s attitude to farming, so that production methods become “environmentally viable”.
Pictures: Top: Christian Schmidt, Germany’s minister for food and farming. Main: Scenes from the Biofach exhibition in Nuremberg (15-18 February)