Birth of Organic Agriculture and Development of an “Organic” Market
This chapter focuses on the development of organic farming in Europe, analysing the theories and factors that fostered its advance. Starting from the early twentieth Century, the history of organic agriculture can be retraced to today. Therefore, an overview of the Community legislation of certification systems, labelling and importation regime is also given. The organic method was regulated for the first time by Council Regulation (EU) No. 2092/1991, then later abrogated by Regulation (EU) No. 834/2007. Countries are placing increasing importance on organic farming, but there is still a high economic potential yet to be fully exploited. The main obstacle is represented by the current inability of supply to fully bridge the gap with demand. Finding a way to satisfy increasing demand without missing the aim of sustainability is difficult, too. Further to this problem, regulatory intervention by the State is essential to carry out development action plans and create the conditions and give operators the tools to put those plans in place. Investments in research and development of innovative technologies are another key factor for the growth of the organic sector. For this reason, the analysis ends with the examination of some statistical data obtained from the last IFOAM report on consumption, production and workers in the sector. Therefore, the principal causes that prevent further development and diffusion of organic are hereby examined, and some food for thought is offered, too.
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