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
(a) the United Kingdom and other individual Member
(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?
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.