OPINION

Organic farming needs boost

A rise in demand for organic products in these times of economic austerity illustrates two things. First, that consumers are willing to pay more provided they are convinced of the high quality of a product, and second, that the Greek agricultural sector is looking at a wonderful opportunity and new prospects: to produce products with high added value for which there is demand in the market. The figures, however, are disappointing. Over 65 percent of turnover is generated by products that are imported from abroad. Yet the number of Greek farmers that have gone organic is not small; the problem lies in distribution and the lack of a proper legal framework. Added to this is the fact that the standards and certification process remains somewhat vague and this gives rise to confusion. Instead of handing out subsidies, the government should be providing organic farmers with real support, such as know-how, a strong legal framework, infrastructure and, of course, an impeccable standards and certification system so that organic production and consumption can grow to the benefit of everyone.