CAP moves toward organic agricultural pratices

Organic farming fulfills nearly every goal of farming policy as no other farming system does, according to Francis Blake, the president of IFOAM. In this interview after the conference, Blake said the review of the Common Agricultural Policy was moving in the direction of organic farming. «Over the next five to 10 years, I believe that there will be continuing recognition of the advantages of organic farming and that is why measures are needed to support participation in this form of agriculture,» Blake told Kathimerini. «In the short term, it is clear that farmers, consumers and policymakers are very interested in organic farming, that is why in some countries such as Denmark, Britain and other northern European countries, there has been a major increase in organic farming. In southern Europe, Italy is a very good example. Even in Greece, there has been an increase in the order of 20 or even 40 percent annually in some areas,» he added. Do you believe that organic farming will ever outstrip conventional farming in percentage of area cultivated in Europe? Yes, I do. I don’t know when, but I believe it will happen. But we have a lot of obstacles to overcome before it does. One of the most important is the battle being waged over genetically modified organisms. This is something that has to be resolved quickly. With respect to production, to the environmental benefits of farming, to employment, to reducing pollution, it has been shown that everything is better with organic farming, so this is the way farming has to go. In your opinion, what is the main issue for organic farming? There are a number of them. I am not sure which is the most important but one of the biggest problems is the lack of policy on the part of the European Commission and some of Europe’s governments.