European markets for organic products are developing fast. In Europe, as other parts of the world, more and more farm land is being converted to organic production. In order to adjust production and consumption levels, detailed market information is needed, especially where decisions with a long-term impact need to be taken, for example on converting specific land or livestock enterprises requiring high levels of investment in glasshouses, housing, processing facilities etc. Since public subsidies (regional / national / European) are heavily involved in these investments, valid, accurate and up-to-date information is essential not only for farmers and growers, but also for policy-makers, consultants, processing industry etc.\ud \ud EU-research projects such as OFCAP (FAIR3-CT96-1794) and OMIaRD (QLK5-2000-01124) have shown that regional or national data gathering takes place in many countries, but often only very basic data are reported, such as certified organic holdings, land areas and livestock numbers. Important market data, e.g. the amount of production, consumption, international trade or producer and consumer prices, do not exist in most European countries. In some European countries there are only rough estimates of the levels of production and consumption. There is no standardization and data are seldom comparable. Furthermore, detailed information on specific commodities is missing. Hence, investment decisions are taken under conditions of great uncertainty. Likewise, if politicians want to support organic agriculture, they do not know whether it would be better to support production or consumption or to address problems in the marketing channel.\ud \ud The EU concerted action EISfOM (QLK5-2002-02400) (European Information System for Organic Markets) is attempting to take the first steps in solving these problems. The aim of this concerted action is to build up a framework for reporting valid and reliable data for relevant production and market sectors of the European organic sector in order to meet the needs of policy-makers, farmers, processors, wholesalers and other actors involved in organic markets.\ud \ud In order to reach this aim, this action was split into several workpackages. This report describes the approach and results of workpackages 2 and 3. \ud \ud In this first chapter the objective and general approach of these work packages are described.\ud \ud Chapters 2 and 3 provide an overview of international statistics and data collection systems within the food supply chain at the public and the private level. Chapter 4 describes national statistics and data collection systems within the food supply chain.\ud \ud In Chapter 5, an analysis and appraisal is made of the results with regard to organic data collection and processing systems (DCPSs) and their integration into existing common DCPSs. Chapter 6 draws several general conclusions. \ud \ud Two substantial annexes complete the report, one with the country reports on the situation of data collection and processing in all investigated countries and the other with the first and the second stage questionnaires covering the different data collection levels
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