On Thursday 21st May, Herbert Dorfmann chaired in Strasbourg a meeting of the Intergroup on wine, spirits and quality foodstuffs. The principal objective of the meeting was to discuss the review of the organic regulation, with a particular focus on wine sector.
Martin Hausling, the COMAGRI rapporteur on the organic dossier, introduced the discussion with an overview of his draft report. The document has been published on Tuesday 19th and will be discussed in the COMAGRI meeting of May 26th. The organic sector has wildly criticised the Commission proposal and Mr Hausling assured that the producers’ view has been taken into account.
In particular, the rapporteur is against the threshold for the de-certification of organic produce. He proposes to adopt a process approach in order not to subvert the polluter-pay principle. Furthermore, he disapproves of the abuse of delegated acts for the lack of clarity and the uncertainty that this represents for the sector. The draft report seeks to consolidate and reintroduce in the proposal the provisions of the current regulation. The rapporteur proposes also to implement an Organic Agency to collect data and control implementation, in order to better achieve the harmonization at the European level.
Mr Thierry Coste, Chairman of the working group “wine” from COPA-COGECA, and Mr Dejas Ralph, managing director of Ecovin, participated as speakers presenting the view of the wine sector.
The following discussion highlighted different positions on mixed farms, anticipating that this will be a key issue in the debate of the next COMAGRI meeting. In his draft report, Mr Hausling tried to reach a compromise, setting a limit of 10 years within which a producer should complete the conversion of his entire holding.
If the Council comes to an agreement in June, trilogue on the organic regulation proposal is expected to start in October.