The Council discussed the proposal for a regulation on organic farming in view of a general approach. It made significant progress on a number of articles but some member states requested more time to reflect further on some sensitive issues such as controls and the presence of non-authorised substances in organic products.
For the presence of non authorised substances in organic agricultural products, delegation expressed diverging views on how to achieve a harmonised EU approach. Some countries would support imposing legal threshold limits as initially proposed by the Commission, while others would prefer to rely instead on the existing system of control in the production process.
Concerning the control system for organic agriculture, delegations were divided on the mechanism governing the frequency of the controls. Many EU countries would like to keep mandatory annual or regular physical inspections. However, others were in favour of setting the frequency of controls according only to a risk basis.
On the basis of this debate, the Presidency expects to reach a general approach on this issue at the Council in June before launching negotiations with the European Parliament.
The proposal is aimed at revising the existing legislation on organic production and labelling of organic products so as to remove obstacles to the development of organic production in the EU, guarantee fair competition for farmers and operators and improve consumer confidence in organic products.
Monday May 11, 2015/ Consilium/ European Union.