Sweden’s organic sector could be uniquely disadvantaged when new EU laws governing the sector come into force in 2022, leading industry groups have warned.
In a joint letter this week sent to the minister for rural Affairs, Ibrahim Bayla, KRAV, Ekologiska Lantbrukarna and LRF say that current Swedish Government proposals would mean that increased costs arising from implementation of the new EU Organic Regulation would be loaded on organic producers.
The Swedish organic sector warns that “great uncertainty” continues to surround the detailed rules (many yet to be finalised) that the new EU Regulation will usher in. These often fail to reflect Swedish conditions and would require expensive and administratively complex exemptions.
Whereas under Swedish plans, organic farmers would be required to pay the costs of securing specific exemptions, the governments of other EU countries look likely to absorb these costs. This, the letter says, would disadvantage Swedish organic producers and make them less competitive in exports markets.
The letter points out that around 20% of farmland in Sweden is already under organic systems, as growing numbers of farmers and food producers respond to consumer and societal demands for sustainable and healthy food. To meet the EU’s 25%-organic-by-2030 target, Sweden’s organic producers should be supported, not disincentivised, the letter writers say.
Main image: The letter sent to Sweden’s minister for rural affairs, Ibrahim Bayla. KRAV