German organic farming support demanded

NGO calls for red/green government action to achieve 10% organic agriculture by 2003

Germany could quintuple the share of agriculture taken by organic farming, a German environmental group said last week. The Nature Protection Association (NABU) challenged Germany's new red/green federal coalition to fulfil earlier promises and put in place policies to increase organic farming to 10% of farms and land area by 2003, compared with 2% currently. Germany gives too little support to organic farming, the group said, contrasting the situation with that in Denmark, where, it claims that two-thirds of EU funding available for promoting agricultural products goes to the organic sector. The group suggested the creation of a new "eco-seal" for organic products, which it said would work as a sign of quality and help to promote organic agriculture. "If as many people as possible who are involved in production, processing, trade, politics and consumption work together, this target will be easy to reach," said Rainer Oppermann, one of the authors of the study.

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