Latvian Presidency at an informal EU Council meeting in Latvia will focus on organic agriculture
On June 1 to June 2, the informal Council of Ministers for Agriculture will be held in Riga where the Latvian Presidency will initiate discussions on the current situation on organic agriculture and its development in the European Union.
The subject of the informal Council meeting of the Latvian Presidency is “Sustainability and growth of organic agriculture and consumer needs prior and after 2020”. The Presidency has prepared material for discussions on the current situation in organic agriculture and its development in the European Union. Member States will be asked to assess, which of the former policy instruments has been success in solving organic farming problems and, which instruments should also be applied in the future.
At the informal meeting of the Ministers for Agriculture, Jānis Dūklavs, the Latvian Minister for Agriculture, will welcome Czesław Adam Siekierski, Chair of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Commission and Ministers for Agriculture of all the EU Member States.
It is possible that the discussion will also touch upon the proposal for Regulation. Already for three Presidencies, the Council has been working on this technically complicated Regulation to reach a sufficiently clear position of the Council and to commence trialogues with the European Parliament. This issue is important for everybody and it is expected that Ministers for Agriculture of the Member States will wish to voice their opinions.
During the informal Council meeting, participants will visit an organic farm in Valgunde parish “Buku audzētava”.
Informal Council of Ministers for Agriculture
June 1 to June 2, 2015, Riga
On June 1 to June 2, in Riga, associated with the Latvian Presidency of EU Council, the informal meeting of Ministers for Agriculture and Fisheries will be held. The discussion subject of the Council is “Organic production: sustainability, growth and consumers’ needs prior and after 2020”.
In ten year (until 2012), the area managed by organic methods in EU has doubled and the increase constitutes about 500 000 hectares per year. In the period from 2000 to 2012, the total organically managed area increased for about 6.7% per annum, reaching 10.1 million hectares or 5.7% of the total area of agricultural land in the European Union.
The Latvian Presidency has prepared a discussion document on the subject to be addressed at the Council. The discussion document incorporates a short description of the current situation and the development of organic agriculture in the European Union as well as outlines possible future problems, which the sector will face in coming years.
For example, EU must react to the growing demand for organic products, and not to risk with consumers’ trust in organic farming principles and quality of organic products. It is necessary to harmonize legislation to ensure equal competition conditions and to reduce fraud risks. Debates must be roused on the existing problems between organic and conventional farmers to ensure a proper co-existence between the two production systems. Definitely, more attention should be paid to provision with organically grown plant reproductive material and organically reared young animals, as currently EU is not able to provide itself with this.
The Presidency is offering Ministers for Agriculture of Member States two discussion items:
the most successful among the existing policy instruments to solve problems,
the necessary policy instruments on EU and international level, allowing prevention or solving of the possible future problems.
Opportunities for journalists:
On May 31, at 3:30 p.m. – press briefing of Jānis Dūklavs, the Council President, Minister for Agriculture of Latvia, at the Ministry of Agriculture, 2 Republikas laukums, Riga
June 2 – media program
Latvian Presidency audio and visual database
Please remember that participation in the Council meeting is possible on prior accreditation on the Presidency’s home page, upon producing at the event the accreditation card issued by the Presidency
For media contacts:
Kristīne Rīna, Head of the Minister’s Office
Ministry of Agriculture
Mobile: +371 26547332
Telephone: +371 67027665
Rūta Rudzīte, Public Relations officer
Ministry of Agriculture
Telephone: +371 67027498