On November 27th, the President of AREPO, Theano Vrentzou Skordalaki, participated in the high-level conference Organic & Origin hosted by MEP Ivan Jakovčić at the European Parliament in Brussels. The objective of the conference was to discuss how to give the right place and acknowledgment to organic and origin products in the future of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) post 2020.
On behalf of Geographical Indications (GIs) sector, AREPO and oriGIn EU have strongly advocated for a more proactive support for GIs in the future CAP, asking to the Commissioner Hogan for a new approach, capable to provide high quality food while contributing to EU priorities in term of sustainable rural development.
While both networks recognised that the Commission proposal and the reports of Agri Committee of the European Parliament go in the right direction, they also pointed out some proposals for improvement.
Mrs Vrentzou, President of AREPO, highlighted the relevance of organic and origin sectors in the current debate on the future CAP. In fact, both sectors have a great potential to address the strong societal demands for a renewed policy capable to deliver environmental and socio-economic public goods, including the preservation of Europe's natural and cultural heritage.
“The EU quality policy should be recognised as a major pillar of the European sustainable food system and the CAP should support the functioning of this virtuous economic model in order to strengthen its capacity to evolve and adapt to the new societal and environmental challenges, continuing to deliver public goods” said Mrs Vrentzou.
Finally, concerning the simplification of GIs system, the President of OriGIn, Mr Vermot Desroches, stated that “it would be important to introduce some further amendments to increase the level of protection of European GIs, harmonising the provisions applicable to GIs for the wine and the agricultural products and foodstuffs sectors, as well as to assure that the GIs concept will be applied in a coherent manner throughout the EU”.
Several representatives of Organic & Origin sectors participated to the event, in particular, the Director of Consortium Aceto Balsamico di Modena, Mr Federico Desimoni, and the Director of Asiago Cheese Consortium, Flavio Innocenzi, presented interesting examples of best practices and interaction between GIs and organic sector.