Germany’s minister of food and agriculture, Cem Özdemir, this week launched the country’s Organic Strategy 2030, which formally commits Germany to achieving 30% organic agriculture by 2030.
The new strategy also places organic practices at the heart of a transformation of the whole of German agriculture, which it is undertaking to meet national climate, biodiversity and nutritional targets.
Speaking at the strategy’s launch in Berlin on 26 November, minister Özdemir said: “For years, more and more companies have been seizing the opportunity to prepare their businesses for the future with organic production. Organic demonstrably protects biodiversity, water and the climate and the organic standard is regularly monitored. The desired growth of organic farming additionally opens up opportunities for the whole of agriculture and the food industry. For me it is also about innovations. Numerous developments in the organic sector are now widely used, going beyond the organic sector. This also brings many positive effects for farmers who work conventionally”.
Germany’s ministry for food and agriculture (BMEL) says the new strategy creates an appropriate framework, and removes existing hurdles along the entire value chain, to enable the 30% organic target to be met within the timeframe set.
Key areas of action include:
• Strengthen production through strong organic breeding, research and advice
• Promote organic processing companies that are geared towards sustainability
• Expand organic out-of-home catering, especially in communal catering (including a model for labelling restaurants and public kitchens using 20 50 and 90 percent organic)
• Align the common agricultural policy (CAP) with the goals of sustainability, environmental and climate protection and excellence in organic agriculture
• Expand communication and education on ecological economics.
• Make organic farming methods usable as an option for action in the global south to achieve the human right to adequate food
The organic umbrella organisation BÖLW welcomed the formal launch of the Organic Strategy 2030, which it said recognised that “organic is the immediate and functioning answer to the big challenges”. But it said that more funding was needed to support effective implementation, together with a fully connected up effort by all of Germany’s ministries.
Commenting on the development, prominent organic consultant and IFOAM World Board Member, Paul Holmbeck, said that the boost to policy and organic market development in Germany “can be a new locomotive for the organic sector in Europe as a whole”. He added: “Interestingly, the strategy for Germany also looks outside German borders and includes an enhanced commitment to support for transition to organic farming in the global south as part of Germany’s support for greater resilience in farming and greater food security.”