The members of the Association of Organic Food Processors - in german: Assoziation ökologischer Lebensmittelhersteller (AöL) - plead for organic, valuable and sustainable food.
The whole process and supply chain, which begins at production and goes over converting and the trade related to the consumer, dictates the value of food. The cooperation und exchange of positions between the members of AöL is the foundation and base of success for political action.
The most important in our work is the representation of our interests at the EU policies, the shaping of organic regulation and developing organics. Nevertheless we are an important information and communication platform for our members.
As organic moves beyond a niche, the organic movement needs to take stocks of what organic has become and what the future holds for us all. The movement needs to be prepared to cope with future political developments, environmental challenges and market trends. IFOAM EU initiated a participatory vision process to prepare the movement to proactively face the future. The AöL ist member of the IFOAM and helped to develope the vision.
We have been taking time to collectively set our own agenda, aiming towards a vision for organic in Europe to 2030. Our aim is to define where the organic sector and movement want to be in 2030 and what strategies are needed to get there.
AöL and Bionext, two leading organizations in the organic sector of the EU, take their responsibility and will expand their cooperation to develop and strengthen the risk based management systems for organic processing and trading companies.
To realise their mutual aim they will take the following actions: Strenghten their cooperation in the further development and implementation of the Biotrust risk based management tool; Exchange knowledge and experiences about risk based management systems; Elaborate the cooperation between both organisations in creating an EU network of leading organic industry. Enlarge their cooperative effort to improve the organic regulation and enforce a harmonized implementation thereof.
For that they developed a Letter of Intent, which can be found here.
Over the last three decades, organic food and farming has continued to grow year-on-year across Europe. Since the mid-1980s, in the European Union (EU) alone the total area of farmland under organic production has increased steadily to 10.3 million hectares (as of 2014). This has been accompanied by buoyant market growth over the last ten years, with the total value of the EU organic retail market doubling from €11.1 billion in 2005 to €24 billion in 2014.
Such advances reflect the vibrant and innovative nature of organic food and farming in response to the expectations of policymakers and the demands of EU consumers for high-quality food production that supports the environment, animal welfare and the development of rural areas. More recently, the organic movement has been working towards an organic vision for fairer, more environmentally conscious and healthier food and farming systems by 2030. This vision envisages 50% of Europe’s agricultural land being managed according to the organic principles of health, ecology, fairness and care.
The evolution of the techniques and methods and the development of new rules in organic farming and processing could require amendments of the EU organic standard after duly evaluation. A high degree of specialisation is required for this complex and time-consuming exercise of evaluation and systematic updating of the standard.
Commission Decision 2009/427/EC, establishing the expert group for technical advice on organic production (EGTOP), is the first step towards the implementation of Action 11 of the European Action Plan for organic food and farming. The EGTOP-Group commented the Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007 and the implementing regulation No 889/2008.