Europe recognizes and appreciates the progress of integrated production

Last Wednesday ‘s plenary session of the European Social Committee (CESE ) and Economic Committee approved by a large majority an initiative report on integrated production in Europe . The report was prepared on the proposal of ASAJA, and presented by the speaker Pedro Narro, who was  representing the organization in Brussels.

The report aims to explain to all citizens the main elements of integrated production , addressing the economic and environmental advantages of this production model and calls on the European Commission further promotion and coordination of this type of production throughout Europe.

The Committee recognizes the support that the Common Agricultural Policy (PAC ) has given to the Integrated Production through rural development programs , but stresses the need to consider it “green by definition”, to continue its voluntary nature, and encourage the participation of farmers in this model, which is considered to be very positive for both producers and consumers .

“Although some classic elements of integrated production are becoming gradually mandatory elements in the practices of farmers, this should not alter the voluntary nature of the integrated production system, in order to facilitate the integration of farmers in terms of economic , environmental or geographical conditions”, noted the speaker.

“The decision of a farmer to become integrated production involves significant changes in the way they manage the farm, and especially a strong investment in technical advice , training, controls , equipment and specific products,” said the report.

In the work done by the European Social and Económic Committee it is clearly stated that organic farming and integrated production are not at all opposed models, but represent different ways of achieving the same goal: “sustainable agriculture”. From now on, this report in Brussels launches debate on the sustainability of agriculture and the need to seriously consider, in the Eropean Community, how to promote productive models that advocate vocational agriculture with respect to high environmental and social standards.

It also points to the need for improved consumer information and for a better understanding of the reality of a farm. “Multiple quality seals generate confusion among its end users, hence efforts should be intensified to bring citizens closer to agricultural products which comply with high economic, social and environmental standards”.

Currently, there coexist many distinctive regional or national quality logos to identify integrated production, and therefore, there is an open debate on the appropriateness of a new EU logo, or simplify the existing ones.