Select Committee on European Communities Sixteenth Report


The following call for evidence was issued in February 1999:

Sub-Committee D of the European Communities Committee is to conduct an enquiry into organic farming, particularly in relation to its regulation and promotion by individual Member States and the European Union. It therefore seeks written evidence on the subject from all interested parties, particularly in relation to the subjects outlined below. Please do not feel obliged to cover all areas if they lie outside your area of expertise or if you wish to concentrate on a particular issue.

Where it is appropriate, please consider in your answers both

(a) the United Kingdom and other individual Member States; and

(b) the EC.

Organic standards and public policy

1.  Organic farming standards: whether they are appropriate, and who sets and polices them.

2.  The ways in which governments promote organic farming, and whether this support is appropriate.

3.  Whether there is a level playing field between the Member States of the EU. If not, what are the differences and what are their effects?

Organic production

4.  The amount and types of organic produce being grown; the number of organic farms; and the rate of growth in supply and demand.

5.  The amount of organic produce being imported and exported, and the countries which are mainly involved.

Advantages and Disadvantages of organic farming

6.  The advantages and disadvantages of organic farming compared to other methods of farming.


7.  The economics of organic farming compared to other farming methods.

8.  The extent to which the viability of organic farming is affected by (i) government policy, and (ii) economic and social conditions.


9.  The organisation of the organic produce supply chain and the marketing of organic produce.

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