Today, the three EU institutions – European Parliament, Council of the European Union and European Commission – signed a Joint Declaration officially instating 23 September as EU Organic Day. Jan Plagge, President of IFOAM Organics Europe, was present at the signature ceremony and welcomed this initiative saying “the EU Organic Day will be the ideal opportunity to take stock of how Europe is performing reaching its goal of 25% organic land under organic management by 2030, of trends in consumer demand, awareness of organic in the supply chain and of the implementation of the EU Organic Action Plan. As European organic movement, we are looking forward to collaborating with relevant institutions and interested stakeholders and all Member States and regions to make this EU Organic Day a success. I thank all organic operators and wish you a healthy, ecological, fair and caring EU Organic Day!”

However, the organic movement’s President added some cautionary notes on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP): “This EU Organic Day is part of the EU Organic Action Plan that needs to be implemented by, among others, Member States through their national CAP strategic plans. As organic movement, we call on Member States to make the best use of the possibilities offered by the new CAP to support the development of their national organic sector. It is time to properly reward organic farmers, and conventional farmers transitioning to organic, for the benefits they deliver to nature and society, and to properly fund farm advisory systems geared towards organic and other agroecological practices. IFOAM Organics Europe published a report with an overview of national budget needs to reach 25% organic land, which makes it clear that most Member States need to increase their CAP budget dedicated to organic farming if the EU wants to reach its 25% objective.”

Eduardo Cuoco, Director of IFOAM Organics Europe said: “We are very happy about this day for which it is important to involve national, regional and even local actors for this day to be a success and celebration of the movement. Together with our members, we will coordinate to celebrate this day across Europe and show the success of organic farming to regenerate European agriculture and to reconcile farming and nature”. The Director adds that “Next year, we will make sure to celebrate in style: on top of the first EU Organic Day, we will also celebrate IFOAM Organics Europe’s 20th birthday.”