Organic farming is taking off in Luxembourg, where 3% of agricultural land was given over to organic practices in 2016, according to the European Parliament.
While promising, Luxembourg still lagged behind its neighbours with Germany the star pupil at 6.8%, followed by Belgium (5.8%) and France (5.3%). Austria recorded the highest proportion of organic agricultural land at a fifth of all farmland (21.3%), followed by Sweden (18.3%), Estonia (18%), and Italy and the Czech Republic (both 14%).
The figures were published by the European Parliament ahead of debate on 17 April and a vote the following day to update existing rules on organic production and labelling. Among the proposed changes will be annual visits of all operators throughout the supply chain, fairer competition, better precautionary measures to prevent contamination with pesticides and the inclusion of new products like salt, cork and essential oils under the organic banner.
Current organic farming practices within the EU include crop rotation for an efficient use of resources, pesticide and synthetic fertilizer ban, limits on use of antibiotics on livestock, GMO ban, use of on-site natural fertiliser and animal feed, free-range and open-air environments for livestock and tailored animal husbandry practices.