European Parliament adopts new regulation on Europe’s organic agriculture

Date: 24 April 2018

On April 19th European Parliament has adopted the new legislation on EU organic farming rules thus repealing Regulation 834/2007. The new regulation, initiated in 2014, was adopted with 466 votes against 124.

As the organic farming sector has hugely grown in the last years, organic managed farms covering 6.7 % of Europe’s agricultural area (2016, EU-28), the new Regulation tries to adapt the regulatory framework for organic farming to these new circumstances and establish the basis for the further growth of this farming sector.


Advancement of organic farming is already well established in different political and regulatory frameworks, such as the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) or the Directive for sustainable use of pesticides (SUD  2009/128). To further boost organic farming in EU the new Regulation allows for a mixed production of organic and conventional food on one holding and simplifies the certification for small farmers (group certification) to encourage conversion.

Furthermore, the new Regulation implements strict, risk-based checks along the organic supply chain and phases out the current “equivalence” rules for imports of organic goods within five years after entry into force.

In regards to plant protection, “the new rules are not very different from the current legal situation” says rapporteur MEP Martin Häusling. Main focus is to avoid contamination from chemical pesticides or synthetic fertilisers. In order to further improve respective standards, a new set of measures is implemented by the Regulation. Effectiveness of these new EU anti-contamination rules and national thresholds will be checked four years after entry into force of the new regulation and if need be the Commission is to come up with a draft law to harmonise them. For further information on pesticide residues in organic food see also the supporting publication by European Food Safety Authority, 2018: Monitoring data on pesticide residues in food: results on organic versus conventionally produced food. EN-1397. Click here to view EFSA's publication.

Read also the Provisional Edition of the European Parliament legislative resolution of 19 April 2018 on the proposal for a regulation.
Dr Lars Huber, Head of Biostimulants, Fertiliser, IPM