As acknowledged by the Action Plan for Organic Production in the EU, organic farming can be characterised by its scattered nature, with producers having limited access to markets. Imbalances in the food chain can limit the bargaining power of organic farmers even as the overall market share of organic products in the food sector increases.
Businesses are often reluctant to convert to organics due to the lack of organised and efficient organic commercial supply chains. Solutions can come in many forms, including through collective actions such as Producer Organisations, which may support the creation of market opportunities, strengthen short supply chains, and maintain the integrity of organic qualities. Recent regulatory changes under EU Regulation 2018/848 also provide opportunities for small organic farmers introducing a system of ‘group certification’ to reduce red tape, strengthen local networks and improve market outlets. The Common Agricultural Policy also offers the potential to play a key role in organic supply chain development, providing significant opportunities to enhance organic value chain.
Aims of the meeting
The main objective of the Thematic Group (TG) on Strengthening the position of farmers in the Organic Food Supply Chain is to identify ways in which the role of the organic producer in the organic value chain can be strengthened through co-operation. To this end, the first TG meeting aimed to:
- Take stock of the policy & regulatory framework for organic value chains; and
- Begin to identify the key enabling conditions and barriers to strengthen the role of organic producers in the organic value chain.