12 April 2021

Key role for Green Public Procurement in European Commission’s Action Plan for organic food production

The European Commission has presented an Action Plan for the Development of organic production in the EU. Its aim is to boost the production and consumption of organic products, to reach 25% of agricultural land under organic farming and to significantly increase organic aquaculture. The EC has identified a key role for Green Public Procurement (GPP) in acheving these targets.

The Action Plan envisages promoting green public procurement (GPP) guidelines drawn up in 2019, bringing organic produce into “minimum mandatory criteria for sustainable food public procurement” as part of the EU’s legal framework for sustainable food by 2023, and encouraging member states “to fix ambitious national targets for organics in GPP”. It also wants to use public procurement to stimulate the use of organics in public canteens.

Other key measures on the demand side include informing and communicating about organic production, promoting the consumption of organic products, increasing the distribution of organic products under the EU school scheme. On the supply side, the Common Agricultural Policy will remain the key tool for supporting organic farming, while other measures include organisation of information events and networking for sharing best practices, certification for groups of farmers rather than for individuals, research and innovation, use of blockchain and other technologies to improve traceability increasing market transparency. The Action Plan also puts a focus on improving animal welfare, reducing the carbon foodprint and minimising the use of plastics, water and energy to increase the sustainability of the organic sector.

More information on the Action Plan can be found here.