Select Committee on European Communities Sixteenth Report


SIXTEENTH REPORT


20 JULY 1999



By the Select Committee appointed to consider Community proposals, whether in draft or otherwise, to obtain all necessary information about them, and to make reports on those which, in the opinion of the Committee, raise important questions of policy or principle, and on other questions to which the Committee considers that the special attention of the House should be drawn.

ORDERED TO REPORT  

Organic Farming and the European Union

PART 1: INTRODUCTION

1. Organic farming is booming. The amount of land farmed organically across the European Union grew by almost a third in 1998 (p 43), and demand for organic produce currently outstrips supply. This Committee decided to investigate organic farming partly because of the rapid increase in this sector throughout Europe, partly because of a proposed amendment to the European Council Regulation on organic farming[1] and partly because the overall regulation of the sector at both the EU and the national level raises important questions of public policy.

What is organic farming?

2. We learnt early on in our enquiry that organic farming is not simply about 'farming without chemicals' (some chemicals are, in fact, permitted), but it is difficult to form an acceptable definition. The United States Department of Agriculture has made the following attempt:

    "Organic farming is a production system which avoids or largely excludes the use of synthetically compounded fertilisers, pesticides, growth regulators and livestock feed additives. To the maximum extent feasible, organic farming systems rely on crop rotations, crop residues, animal manures, legumes, green manures, off-farm organic wastes, and aspects of biological pest control to maintain soil productivity and tilth, to supply plant nutrients and to control insects, weeds and other pests."[2]

The United Kingdom Register of Organic Food Standards (UKROFS) states that "organic production systems are designed to produce optimum quantities of food of high nutritional quality by using management practices which aim to avoid the use of agro-chemical inputs and which minimise damage to the environment and wildlife", and lists a set of principles by which this is to be achieved:

  • Working with natural systems rather than seeking to dominate them
  • The encouragement of biological cycles involving micro-organisms, soil flora and fauna, plants and animals
  • The maintenance or development of valuable existing landscape features and adequate habitats for the production of wildlife with particular regard to endangered species
  • Careful attention to animal welfare considerations
  • The avoidance of pollution
  • Consideration for the wider social and ecological impact of the farming system

When applied these principles will result in production practices whose key characteristics are:

  • The adoption of sound rotations
  • The extensive and rational use of animal manure and vegetable wastes
  • The use of appropriate inputs
  • Appropriate cultivation, weed and pest control techniques
  • The observation of conservation principles

(UKROFS Standards for Organic Food Production: January 1999 edition, Chapter 2, Section 1)

3. The international umbrella organisation for organic associations, the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), has drawn up a similar but slightly longer set of principles, including maintaining and increasing the long-term fertility of soils and working as far as possible within a closed system with regard to organic matter and nutrient elements.

4. Increasing soil fertility within closed systems is heavily dependent on the inclusion of leys sown with legumes, such as clover, within a rotation of different species of crops and, in mixed farming systems, on the use of animals, particularly ruminants such as cattle and sheep. The Committee saw the following example of such a rotation at Highgrove[3]:
Years 1 to 3Grass and red or white clover, used for grazing and silage
Year 4Winter wheat
Year 5Spring oats
Year 6Spring beans
Year 7Rye

Yields from organic farms are generally lower than from conventional farms. The question of yields is explored more fully in paragraph 57, but as a rough guide, which takes no account of differences between sectors, organic yields are on average around 60-70% of conventional[4] yields.

Development of organic farming

5. Organic farming, as a distinct philosophy, originated early this century. Its subsequent development, however, owed much to a reaction against what were perceived to be the undesirable consequences of intensive farming. This, in turn, had been a response to the urgent need, during and after World War Two, to increase food production in the UK and across Europe. Higher production was encouraged by government policy and subsequently by the production-boosting subsidies of the CAP, and was facilitated by the development of new techniques of crop protection and production, such as synthetic fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides. The Soil Association was founded in 1946 to promote non-intensive farming methods which preserved the structure and natural fertility of the soil and, since that time, an increasing number of farmers have sought to develop methods of farming which do not rely on manufactured chemicals imported from outside the farm and which are more sympathetic to the environment.

Organic production and processing standards

6. It is only in the last few decades that detailed sets of standards have been developed, in accordance with the principles set out in paragraph 2, which define how to "farm organically" and enable a consumer to judge whether food has been produced "organically"[5]. UKROFS was established in 1987 to formulate nationally-agreed standards under a single organic logo (the standards were launched successfully in 1989, but the UKROFS-inspired logo has not replaced the insignias of the sector bodies (see Appendix 4)). The Board's members are appointed by the Minister of Agriculture, and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF) provide the funding and secretariat; otherwise it is independent of the Government. The Board consists of people with a range of interests in the organic sector, such as organic farmers, processors and importers, and consumer and retailing representatives. There are currently 11 members[6].

7. In the European Union, Regulation 2092/91 was introduced in 1991 to lay down minimum harmonised rules on the labelling, production and inspection of organically produced agricultural plant products[7]. This Regulation required Member States to designate a "competent authority" with responsibility for the approval and supervision of bodies which register and inspect organic 'operators' (producers, processors and importers). The UK Ministers for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food were made the competent authority for the UK. UKROFS was designated to implement the Regulation. Although the scope of the Regulation is limited to agricultural crop products, there is specific provision for the adoption of rules on organic livestock production[8]. The Commission put forward a proposal to extend the Regulation to cover animal products in 1996, which was finally agreed at the Agriculture Council in June 1999. In the past, UKROFS has set livestock standards for the UK but these must now be replaced by those incorporated into Regulation 2092/91; the competent authorities in Member States may set their own standards where Regulation 2092/91 is silent, but must follow it otherwise.

8. Appendix 4 lists the six sector certifying bodies currently registered with UKROFS. These sector bodies may set additional standards over and above the requirements of the Regulation, which only their own members are required to follow. Individual organic farmers must register with one of the sector bodies, to whom they pay a fee, but may in exceptional circumstances register directly with UKROFS.

9. Farmers wishing to become organic must first agree a conversion plan with their certification body. The land then goes through a period of conversion, which for most crops and grassland is 24 months[9]. In this period produce may not be described as organic. Sector bodies must ensure that each organic farmer registered with them is farming according to the standards, and they inspect each registered operator once a year[10]. Those caught contravening the standards may be de-registered and would lose the price premium obtainable on their produce, as well as part or all of any subsidy payments from any organic aid scheme to which they belonged. UKROFS monitors the sector bodies to ensure that their procedures are satisfactory, and carries out additional inspections annually on a proportion of those registered with each sector body. The Commission recently audited UKROFS and found that it was operating effectively[11]. Similar arrangements apply in the other Member States of the EU (pp 265, 279, 288, 316). Any problems arising may be reported to the management committee established under Article 14 of the Regulation, chaired by the Commission (p 144).

10. The UKROFS standards dated January 1999 include rules on the use of crop rotations, supplemented by crop and animal residues as additional means of increasing soil fertility (Chapter 2, 4.2), on methods of pest, disease and weed control (including permitted substances, which may be used "only in case of immediate threat" (Chapter 2, 4.9)) and on harvesting. The standards also cover the husbandry, medication and transportation of animals, labelling, packaging, processing and the keeping of records[12].

11. Only those products which comply with the minimum requirements set out in the Regulation may bear an organic label and be advertised or marketed as organic. It is the responsibility of trading standards officers to ensure that produce is not labelled organic if it has not been produced according to the organic standards. It should be emphasised that the organic label certifies that a product has been produced in a particular way; it is not a guarantee that it has certain desirable qualities. In other words, organic standards are based on the method of production, not on the characteristics of the finished product.

12. IFOAM has drawn up a set of baseline organic standards which, it is intended, will come to govern organic production and processing internationally. The organisation has also launched its own organic label and an accreditation service for internationally traded organic products which includes farm visits worldwide (see paragraph 84).

IMPORTS

13. Organic food produced in any Member State in accordance with the requirements of Regulation 2092/91 may circulate freely within the Union. Its labelling must include a reference to the name and/or the code number of the national inspection body responsible for checking compliance with the Regulation. Regulation 2092/91 also includes rules on the import of organic products from third (non-EU) countries. These rules are based on the principle of "equivalence": the rules of production and the inspection measures actually applied in the third country must be equivalent to the standards required of EU producers. There are two ways in which this can be achieved. Either, the Government of a third country may have their organic regulatory system inspected and verified by the Commission as being substantially equivalent to the EU system. In that case, each consignment from such a country must be accompanied by a certificate from the competent authority in the third country[13]. Only five countries have so far taken up this option[14] (though the Czech Republic said that it was in the process of application (p 241)). Or, an importer may apply for an import certificate directly to the competent authority in the Member State into which the produce is to be imported. Documentary evidence demonstrating that the imported products were manufactured according to production and inspection rules equivalent to those applicable in the EU must be provided along with the application[15]. All organic products, whether imported or produced within the EU, must be traceable back to the farm of origin[16].

Current size of the organic sector

14. In 1985 less than 0.1% of the total agricultural area in western Europe (including EFTA countries) was farmed organically. By the end of 1997 this figure had increased to over 1.6%, or 2.3 million hectares[17]. It is estimated that by the end of 1998 probably 3 million hectares (nearly 2.1% of the farmland) was managed organically. This average hides significant variations: Sweden estimated that in 1998 9% of its agricultural land was organic; France put its figure at 0.6% (pp 263, 317).

15. The proportion of UK farming land which is organic is lower than the EU average: at the end of 1996 only 0.3% of the UK's agricultural land was either organic or in conversion to organic methods, lower than the proportion in 11 of the 15 EU Member States. Dr Lampkin estimated that the figure is now likely to be approximately 1.2% of agricultural land, or nearly 200,000 hectares, and the Government have made an even higher estimate of 274,519 hectares as at April 1999[18]. The recent rapid growth owes much to the depressed state of the conventional sector. It is also due to strong demand.

16. The market for organic produce has recently increased substantially, as is made clear in the Soil Association's Organic Food and Farming Report 1998[19]. In 1997 UK sales of organic food totalled around £260 million, up from £100 million in 1993. As Table 1 shows, fruit and vegetables accounted for 54% of these sales, though the Consumers in Europe Group said that the fastest growing organic product was baby food (p 94). Demand has been so strong that despite the increase in production organic food still commands a substantial premium in the shops. This premium varies from product to product, but on average the price for organic products is probably around 150-160% of the price of conventionally produced equivalents (Q 7). Much of the organic food now consumed in the UK is imported from countries such as the Netherlands, Egypt and Israel (p 32). Table 2 shows estimates for both the organic and conventional sectors of the proportion of food consumed in the UK which is produced domestically and the proportion which is imported (it should be noted that the figures have been collected from different sources). No-one disputed the Soil Association's calculation that around 70% of the organic food consumed in the UK is imported (Q 95, pp 31, 197, 214, 297, 318, 325). Sainsbury's thought that there was considerable scope to reduce imports of organic fruit and vegetables (Q 163; also p 325).
Table 1

Share of total UK organic retail sales
Fruit and vegetables 54%
Cereals14%
Dairy7%
Meat5%
Eggs2%
Beverages6%
Baby foods3%
Multi-ingredient foods 7%
Other2%

Source: Organic Food and Farming Report 1998, page 14.

Table 2

Food consumption: Imports in 1997
Organic Food
Total
Category
% Imported
Category
% Imported
Fruit and vegetables
80%
Fruit

Vegetables

91%

21%
Cereals
50%
Cereals
14%
Dairy
10%
Butter

Cheese

Cream

63%

6%

6%
Meat
<1%
Meat
26%
TOTAL
70%
TOTAL
23%

Notes: Percentages refer to the percent imported by value of the products. The totals given at the foot of both columns are overall totals, not simply the total of the products listed in the rest of the table.

Source: Organic sector information is taken from the Organic Food and Farming Report 1998, page 17. Other information is taken from data prepared by Statistics (Commodities and Food) Branch C, ESG, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.

17. Tables 1 and 2 illustrate why generalisations about the organic sector should only be made with extreme care: for example, the overall imports figure for organic food of 70% covers both the fruit and vegetables sector, where imports are dominant, and the dairy and meat sectors, where they are not. There are also great variations in the state of development of different sectors within the overall organic market. For example, the Soil Association informed us that there was a great deal of demand for organically produced meat but at present little supply, though this may soon change as a large amount of the land currently entering conversion is grassland, and one retailer found "no difficulty in easily obtaining British organic meat" (QQ 30, 63, pp 269, 306).

Future size of the organic sector

18. The Soil Association's Report for 1998 predicted that, based on the current growth rate of 25% per annum, by 2007 organic farming would account for 10% of European farmland, and Mr Holden, Director of the Soil Association, said that the current rate of growth in Denmark was more like 50% per annum[20]. Professor Midmore did not think that such rapid growth could be sustained indefinitely: "I do not think that anybody envisages more than about 30% of the land area of the European Union being converted to organic production" (Q 179). For the UK, Dr Lampkin estimated that 5% of farmland might be farmed organically by 2005 (Q 174), and the Government agreed that there was "considerable room for growth" (Q 613). Sainsbury's predicted that the UK organic market would be worth £450 million in 1999, and thought that organic produce could come to account for around 5% of their total business; perhaps more in sectors such as dairy products, and less for poultry (QQ 138, 141, pp 40-1). The Soil Association added that as the sector grew there would inevitably be periods of surplus and deficit: for example, surpluses would occur before major companies began to source organic products, but then they would require large volumes and deficits would follow before supplies were adequate again. "One can manage growth in the sector but one cannot avoid problems of that kind; they are inevitable" (Q 30).

Encouragement of organic farming

19. EU Member States have promoted organic farming in a variety of ways, the main one being the provision of subsidies for organic farmers via schemes under Regulation 2078/92 (the "agri-environment" Regulation[21]). The Community meets 75% of the cost of schemes in Objective 1 regions[22] and 50% elsewhere, the rest being provided by the Member States. Regulation 2078/92 prescribes maximum limits for the payments[23]. All Member States now have some form of scheme specifically directed at organic farming, but the details vary widely. Most schemes are open to all organic farmers (eg. Germany, Italy, Spain) but some are only open to those converting to organic production (eg. France). Some of the schemes open to all organic farmers may nevertheless only provide for payment for a limited number of years (eg. Spain). Schemes may offer differential rates of support according to the type of organic farming conducted. Austria, for example, provides higher rates of aid for horticulture and vegetable production than for cereals and other arable production, and Denmark recently raised rates of aid for arable land above those for grassland because most of the land entering conversion in Denmark was grassland (Q 177). Box 1 gives details of some of the various schemes, though it should be noted that under the Agenda 2000 reforms the agri-environment Regulation is to be replaced by the combined Rural Development Regulation, which may lead to the re-organisation of Member States' agri-environment schemes[24]. Support for converting and continuing organic production from the Community and Member States is estimated to have amounted to over 260 million ecu in 1997[25]. Organic farmers are of course also eligible for support under the various CAP regimes in the same way as other farmers, though the generally lower yields obtaining in organic farming mean that commodity payments are often lower than for equivalent conventional farmers.

20. Some countries, such as Sweden and France, have set a target for the amount of farmland which they wish to become organic by a certain date (pp 266, 317), and in Wales an industry-led body assisted by the Welsh Development Agency (the Welsh Organic Industry Group) has proposed a plan which aims to "expand the Welsh organic sector by increasing production of existing and new businesses to 10% of the Welsh agricultural products sector by 2005"[26].

21. Organic farming is also supported in a variety of other ways. In England, for example, MAFF fund an Organic Conversion Information Service (OCIS) which is run by the Elm Farm Research Centre. The Centre operates a telephone helpline and offers half-day and full-day visits for those considering converting to organic farming. The recent increase in interest in organic farming is illustrated by the number of enquiries fielded by Elm Farm: in its first year of operation (June 1996 to May 97) there were 542 half-day visits and 116 full day follow-on visits. In 1997-98 there were 1191 half-day and 337 full day visits, and from June 1998 to mid-April 1999 there were 1997 half day and 688 full day visits (p 329). Similar schemes exist in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland (p 306).

22. The Government also provide research and development funding for organic farming: the MAFF organic research and development budget for 1999-2000 is £2.1 million, up from £1.5 million for the current financial year (p 196)[27]. While the Government is the major supporter of organic research, there are other research projects which involve organic farming (eg. p 81). MAFF marketing grants totalling £1.3 million have also been given out to organic groups (p 196).

23. Other Member States also fund research and development (pp 226, 267, 287), though the Netherlands added that "as time goes on however the sector itself has to contribute to research programmes"[28]. Other methods of assistance included the provision of information and training (pp 226, 287, 317), financial support for supply chain initiatives (pp 215, 226) and funding for promotional work (pp 226, 287).
Box 1 - Examples of some of the organic support schemes operating under Regulation 2078/92
United Kingdom (The Organic Farming Scheme for England)
For English farmers, aid was formerly available via an Organic Aid Scheme under which farmers could receive payments totalling £250/hectare spread over 5 years (£50/hectare in Less Favoured Areas). MAFF have recently introduced an Organic Farming Scheme, with higher rates of payments but still limited to 5 years. Payments will total £450 for land eligible for the Arable Area Payments Scheme (AAPS), £350 for improved land not eligible for AAPS, and £50 for unimproved land.* There will also be lump sum payments totalling £600 per farm over the first 3 years. Other provisions include that only part of a farm need be converted, and that set-aside land is excluded from the scheme. The budget is £6.2 million for 1999-2000 and £8.5 million for 2000-01. If the scheme is over-subscribed then farmers will be held over to the next year, though they must enter conversion before applying, not before final acceptance. Farmers who already have land in other agri-environment schemes (eg. Countryside Stewardship, Environmentally Sensitive Areas) will have their payments reduced to avoid double funding for the same benefits. A parallel scheme has been introduced for Northern Ireland, and the Government are also considering increasing the payments for Scotland and Wales.
Austria
Details: Converting and existing organic farmers are eligible. Set-aside land is excluded.
Typical 1997 payment rates for land in the first two years of conversion (ecu/ha/year): Variable, from 217 for grass/forage to 723 for intensive horticulture, olives/vines and fruit. Payments usually made in addition to the basic agri-environment support payment of c. 50 ecu/ha/year.
Typical 1997 payment rates for continuing organic land (ecu/ha/year): Variable, from 217 for grass/forage to 723 for intensive horticulture, olives/vines and fruit.
Denmark
Details: Converting and existing organic farmers are eligible. Permanent pasture and set-aside land is excluded.
Typical 1997 payment rates for land in the first two years of conversion (ecu/ha/year): 140 for cereals/land eligible for arable area payments and everything else, 87 for other arable land and grass/forage.
Typical 1997 payment rates for continuing organic land (ecu/ha/year): 114 for cereals/land eligible for arable area payments and everything else, 60 for other arable land and grass/forage.
France
Details: Only converting farmers are eligible. Schemes are centrally co-ordinated, but some regions have adjusted payment rates, some support existing producers, and some have set a maximum limit on payments per farm.
Typical 1997 payment rates for land in the first two years of conversion (ecu/ha/year): Variable, from 106 for grass/forage to 711 for fruit.
Typical 1997 payment rates for continuing organic land (ecu/ha/year): None.
Germany
Details: Converting and existing farmers are eligible. Schemes are run by the Federal Government and by the Länder. All of the farm must be converted. In some Länder there is a maximum amount of aid per farm. Set-aside land is excluded from the scheme.
Typical 1997 payment rates for land in the first two years of conversion (ecu/ha/year): (average taking into account variations between Länder) 127-153, higher for olives/vines and fruit.
Typical 1997 payment rates for continuing organic land (ecu/ha/year): 120-122, higher for olives/vines and fruit.
Italy
Details: Converting and existing organic farmers are eligible. Regions are responsible for their own programmes. In some regions, all of the farm must be converted.
Typical 1997 payment rates for land in the first two years of conversion (ecu/ha/year): 309, with lower rates for cereals and higher rates for olives/vines and fruit (with some regional variations).
Typical 1997 payment rates for continuing organic land (ecu/ha/year): 309, with lower rates for cereals and higher rates for olives/vines and fruit (with some regional variations).
Spain
Details: Converting and existing farmers are eligible: they receive payments for a maximum period of five years. Autonomous regions may vary the conditions applying nationally.
Typical 1997 payment rates for land in the first two years of conversion (ecu/ha/year): Variable, from 90 for grass/forage to 452 for intensive horticulture.
Typical 1997 payment rates for continuing organic land (ecu/ha/year): Variable, from 54 for grass/forage to 271 for intensive horticulture.
* It is impossible to make a direct comparison between the figures for the UK and the other Member States because the former relate to 1999 and the latter relate to 1997 (it should also be noted that the UK figures are for the total payments made over 5 years, while the figures for other Member States are annual). However, the £/ecu exchange rate in 1997 was around 1.4 ecu to the £. Therefore, £450 would have equated to approximately 630 ecu, £350 to 490 ecu, and £50 to 70 ecu.
(Information taken from the MAFF information pack on the Organic Farming Scheme and N Lampkin, C Foster, S Padel, P Midmore, The policy and regulatory environment for organic farming in Europe (ref. FAIR 3-CT96-1794, September 1998)

Structure of the Report

24. This report follows a five month enquiry by Sub-Committee D (Agriculture, Fisheries and Food), whose membership is listed in Appendix 1, in which we received oral and written evidence from a wide range of individuals and organisations from within and outside the organic sector. A full list is given in Appendix 3, and we are most grateful to them all. Several members of the Sub-Committee also visited the Duchy Home Farm at Highgrove and Eastbrook Farm at Bishopstone, and we would like to thank His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, Mr David Wilson and Mrs Helen Browning for the hospitality we were shown and the way in which the organic system was brought so expertly and vividly to life.

25. Having set out the background and policy framework in this introduction, Part 2 examines the philosophy and principles of organic farming, and summarises both the benefits and the drawbacks that are claimed for it. Parts 3 and 4 consider the policy regime in which organic farming operates, in the domestic, European Union, and wider international contexts: Part 3 concentrates on the regulation of the sector and Part 4 examines the justification for the promotion of organic farming. Our conclusions are summarised in Part 5.


1   Regulation 2092/91: see paragraph 7. Back

2   From N Lampkin, Organic Farming (Farming Press, Ipswich, first edition 1990), page 5. Back

3   See Appendix 5.  Back

4   In this Report we use the term "conventional" to encompass the wide range of farming that is not organic. Back

5   The United States Department of Agriculture is only now finalising a set of nationwide organic standards for the US (p 97). Back

6   UKROFS has four committees: Certification, Forum, Research and Development, and Technical. The Certification Committee meets about every two months, mainly to monitor the registration of sector bodies. The Forum takes place following the meetings of the Certification Committee and provides an opportunity for the sector bodies to meet and discuss current issues. The Technical Committee has only recently been established and is expected to meet around every two months to provide advice on technical issues referred to it by the Board or the other committees. The Research and Development Committee meets as required. Back

7   "Council Regulation (EEC) No. 2092/91 of 24 June 1991 on organic production of agricultural products and indications thereto on agricultural products and foodstuffs", OJ L 198, 22.7.91. There has been a series of amendments to the Regulation since its adoption. Back

8   Article 1(2), Regulation 2092/91. Back

9   Annex 1, paragraph 1, Regulation 2092/91. Back

10   Article 9 and Annex III, Regulation 2092/91. Back

11   European Commission Mission Report on a mission carried out in the United Kingdom from 18.01.99 to 22.01.99 in the field of "Application of Council Regulation 2092/91 on organic farming in the United Kingdom". Back

12   To give an example of one of the standards, Paragraph 7.49 in Chapter 2 stipulates that: "whenever possible, pig breeding systems should be planned to allow the sows direct access to soil and growing green food but all sows should have access to an outside run for most of the breeding cycle". Back

13   Article 11(1) - (5), Regulation 2092/91. Back

14   Australia, Switzerland, Hungary, Argentina, Israel. Back

15   Article 11(6), Regulation 2092/91. Back

16   Annex III (A), paragraph 4, Regulation 2092/91. Back

17   1 hectare = 2.47 acres. Back

18   p 43 and N Lampkin, C Foster, S Padel, P Midmore, The policy and regulatory environment for organic farming in Europe (ref. FAIR 3-CT96-1794, September 1998), page 32; House of Commons Debates, 4 May 1999 Written Answer to Question 82774. Back

19   Soil Association, The Organic Food and Farming Report 1998 (1998). Back

20   Q 2. See also Agra Europe, 4 June 1999. Back

21   "Council Regulation (EEC) No. 2078/92 of 30 June 1992 on agricultural production methods compatible with the requirements of the protection of the environment and the maintenance of the countryside", OJ L 215, 30.7.92 (as amended). Back

22   Objective 1 regions are those areas of the EU with a GDP less than 75% of the Community average eligible for the receipt of money under the structural funds. Back

23   Commission of the European Communities, Report on the application of Council Regulation (EEC) 2078/92 (Com(97)620 final, 4 December 1997), section 1.3. Back

24   See our Report: House of Lords European Communities Committee, A Reformed CAP? The Outcome of Agenda 2000 (8th Report, Session 1998-99, HL Paper 61). Back

25   N Lampkin, C Foster, S Padel, P Midmore, The policy and regulatory environment for organic farming in Europe (ref. FAIR 3-CT96-1794, September 1998), page i. Back

26   Welsh Organic Food Industry Working Group, Welsh Organic Food Sector - A Strategic Action Plan (March 1999), page 4. Back

27   The total MAFF research budget is £130 million. Back

28   Netherlands' Ministry of Agriculture, Nature, Management and Fisheries, Action Plan for Organic Farming (November 1996), p 7. Back


 
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