Estonia: The Bill facilitating organic farming passed the first reading in the Riigikogu

NordenBladet — Under the Bill on Amendments to the Organic Farming Act and the Plant Propagation and Plant Variety Rights Act, in the future, persons who sell unpacked organic products in small quantities, for example small organic shops, will be exempt from the obligation to be in the possession of a certificate.

It will be sufficient to notify the Agricultural and Food Board in order to obtain the exemption. It is an option granted by the EU, under which Member States can grant exemptions to operators that sell unpacked organic products to the final consumer, provided that they do not produce, prepare, store other than in connection with the point of sale, or import such products from a third country, or subcontract such activities to another operator.

The sale of unpacked organic products must not exceed 5 000 kg per year; such sales must not represent an annual turnover in relation to unpacked organic products exceeding EUR 20 000; or the potential certification cost of the operator exceeds 2 % of the total turnover on unpacked organic products sold by that operator.

In order to prevent fraudulent use of the indications referring to organic farming, the bases for the repeal of decisions on recognition will be changed and the fine for knowingly placing on the market non-organic products with an indication referring to organic farming will be increased.

The Bill on Amendments to the Organic Farming Act and the Plant Propagation and Plant Variety Rights Act (260 SE), initiated by the Government, will bring the Act into conformity with the EU organic farming Regulation and the establishment of a new agency, the Agricultural and Food Board, on the basis of the Agricultural Board and the Veterinary and Food Board.


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