Research Handbook on EU Agriculture Law
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Research Handbook on EU Agriculture Law

Edited by Joseph A. McMahon and Michael N. Cardwell

Following the conclusion of the latest round of reforms to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in 2013, the Research Handbook on EU Agriculture Law provides an up-to-date discussion of these reforms and the changing landscape in which the CAP now operates.
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Chapter 14: Organic food and farming in the European Union

Tim Josling


The emergence of a large market for organic food is one of the most significant developments in the area of food and farming over the past two decades. Much of this growth has been in the US and European Union (EU) markets, along with those of Canada, Australia and Japan. But small markets for organics are emerging in India and China, and the export of organic foods has been increasing in Africa and Latin America. The EU has been a major player in setting up the regulatory provisions for organic food, and has attempted to shift farming in the direction of environmental practices that require less chemical inputs. This link with farm policy is a major reason why the topic of organic food deserves a place in a book on the future of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Yet the future of organic foods also has implications for food security and trade policies, and the EU organic movement will have to consider these matters as well as the promotion of domestic production techniques and the marketing of their products. Organic farming is still a minor part of global agricultural production, accounting for less than one per cent of the agricultural area.

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