The AGRI Committee met on 31 August for a presentation of a study on the “Farm certification schemes for sustainable agriculture -state of play and overview in EU and key global producing countries – concepts & methods”. Members were one in welcoming the study’s scope and conclusions and thanked the speakers for their presentation. On the basis of the study’s state of play and typology of existing certification schemes, Members pointed out that when used properly, they have a powerful marketing and pricing potential for producers and provide consumers with useful information on the origin and quality of the products. However, several Members expressed concerns on the multiplication of schemes, which confuses consumers, and the lack of proper controls for some of them. Some Members called for a wider use of public certification schemes (which represent about only one third of the 170 EU schemes mentioned in the study) to prevent this. Members expressed their interest for the study’s findings regarding the possible use of certification schemes by the Member States in their national strategic plans for eligibility purposes (conditionality, eco-schemes, agri-environment and climate measures). They insisted however that the related administrative burden and costs shall be kept at a minimum for farmers and that this link between certification schemes and the CAP policy tools should not result in more on-the-spot controls by the Commission.
Watch video of the event (with multilingual interpretation):