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Book of Abstracts

11th IFOAM
Scientific Conference
11-15 August 1996
Copenhagen, Denmark

Abstract front page
Subject index
Athor index

Special Presentations

Agricultural policy and organic farming in Europe F14

Lampkin, Nicolas

Welsh Institute of Rural Studies, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, SY23 3AL, GB

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In recent years, organic farming in the Europe has developed extremely rapidly, with the organically managed land area expanding from 0.12 million ha in 1986 to more than 1.3 million ha in 1996, representing an annual increase of 25 %. The number of organic farms has increased from 7,800 to 55,000 over the same period. In the Scandinavian and German-speaking countries, organic farming has moved from a marginal position of less than half of one percent of agricultural land use to become a significant part (1.6% in Germany to 7.5% in Austria) of the agricultural sector, bringing the overall western European average close to one percent.

Growth in the last five years has been particularly rapid, stimulated by strong consumer demand and policy initiatives. Almost all western European countries, and some Central/Eastern European countries, now provide direct financial support to farmers converting to or continuing with organic farming. Within the European Union, these policies are implemented under the common legal framework of Regulation 2078/92, known as the agri-environment programme. In addition, financial support is available for research and development, training and education, extension, market development and
certification procedures. A comprehensive review of the policies being implemented in western Europe reveals a very wide range of approaches in practice, relating to levels and types of payment, the conditions imposed, and the actual costs incurred.

This paper presents details of the policies being implemented in each of the 15 European Union countries and Switzerland, together with data on the development of organic farming in each country. The different approaches to eligibility conditions and levels of payment are examined critically according to criteria for effective policy measures previously identified in Lampkin and Padel (1994).

Lampkin, N. H. and S. Padel (eds.) (1994) The economics of organic farming - an international perspective. CAB International, Wallingford