INTIA - Institute for Agri-food Technology and Infrastructure of Navarre
The organic market in the European Union has developed significantly in recent years, the total value being approximately 19.7 billion euro with a 9% growth rate in 2011. As organic production grows in Europe, the sector’s focus is on competitiveness and sustainability. While EU public policies have played an important part in the development of the EU organic sector, regional authorities have huge potential to prioritise support for organic approaches, such as market development. In this respect, the EC proposal for an Action Plan for Organic Food and Farming encourages regions to find the most adequate policy and funding mix to support the development of the regional organic sectors.
The overall objective of SME-ORGANICS is to improve policies and programmes under the Investment for Growth and Jobs goal in order to enhance the competitiveness and sustainability of SMEs in the organic sector of 7 EU regions plus Aargau Canton (Switzerland). The project aims at supporting SMEs in improving their performance in order to enforce the growth capacity of the entire organic regional sector in regional, national and international markets. The interregional learning process will take place around four areas: i) production and processing; ii) commercialization and marketing; iii) training and advice; iv) organic value chain efficiency and governance.
The main outputs of the project will be: Method Guide, Diagnosis reports of the regional organic sectors, Good Practice Guide, Policy Road Map, Regional Policy Briefs and Regional Action Plans with recommendations for integration into RIS3. Stakeholders benefiting from the project will be all actors in the organic value chains at the regional, national and EU level: cooperatives, agri-food industries, retailers and distributors of organic products, advisory services, chambers of commerce and agriculture, experts on regulatory issues of the organic sector, policy makers, EU’s DGs and other initiatives in the organic sector.