Prodotti biologici, a Bruxelles spunta il ‘quasi bio’

di Michele Costanzo 56

Prodotti biologici
I prodotti biologici godono in Europa di una ormai consolidata normativa che ne garantisce la qualità dalla produzione alla commercializzazione. Proprio questo quadro rigoroso di regole ha permesso all’agricoltura biologica europea di conquistare spazi di mercato e di differenziarsi dalla produzione agricola normale.

Nuove norme europee sui prodotti biologici

In Europa le prime norme condivide sui prodotti biologici risalgono ai primi anno novanta sotto forma di un regolamento che ha definito i metodi per la produzione biologica di prodotti agricoli e le regole per loro indicazione nelle etichette alimentari. Attualmente la norma più rilevate è tuttavia costituita dal nuovo regolamento CE per l’agricoltura biologica (Reg. (CE) n. 834/2007) che ha sostituito le regole precedenti ed ha fissato regole più rigide sia per quanto riguarda la produzione di prodotti bio sia per quanto concerne la loro etichettatura.

Il regolamento del 2007 ha tra le altre cose introdotto un ‘logo biologico‘ comune in tutta l’Unione Europa che identifica graficamente i prodotti ottenuti da agricoltura biologica. Già dal marzo 2014 la Commissione Europea ha presentato una nuova proposta di regolamento per la produzione e l’etichettatura dei prodotti biologici. Il regolamento è in discussione al Parlamento Europeo dove il testo è stato adottato in prima lettura dalla Commissione per l’agricoltura e lo sviluppo rurale con l’introduzione di alcune emendamenti al testo che hanno modificato parti importanti dell’impostazione originaria.

Il ‘quasi bio’ per le aziende miste

Tra le modifiche che stanno destando qualche perplessità rientrano le proposte per una normativa meno severa per le così definite aziende agricole miste, aziende cioè che destinano alcune unità produttive alla produzione biologica ed altre unità alla produzione non biologica. Nell’impostazione originale della Commissione Europea si parte dall’osservazione che il rischio di inosservanza delle norme sulla produzione biologica è più elevato nelle aziende agricole in cui sono presenti anche unità di produzione non biologiche. Proprio per questo la Commissione Europea propone che tutte le aziende europee che vogliano passare all’agricoltura biologica debbano essere interamente gestite in conformità alle regole comunitarie per la produzione biologica. Il testo della Commissione Europea suggerisce inoltre di introdurre un ‘periodo di conversione’ uniforme in tutti i paesi europei da osservare per tutte le aziende che si convertono alla produzione bio. Il ‘periodo di conversione’ viene ovviamente escluso per i terreni incolti che quindi in via teorica possono subito essere utilizzati per l’agricoltura biologica. In sostanza quindi l’impostazione della norma escluderebbe la possibilità che in Europa esistano aziende agricole miste in parte condotte secondo i criteri dell’agricoltura biologica ed in parte dedite a coltivazioni con uso di prodotti chimici. Scopo evidente dell’iniziativa è quello di ridurre il rischio di interferenza nella produzione biologica a tutela del diritto di scelta dei consumatori europei.

Come accennato però in prima lettura nel Parlamento Europeo è stata introdotta una modifica al testo che prevede per alcune aziende miste una sorta di stato ‘quasi bio’ (qui è possibile leggere i due testi a confronto). In sostanza si propone di autorizzare le aziende agricole a mantenere una produzione non biologica quando questa è chiaramente differenziata dalla produzione biologica. Un approccio meno rigido nella sostanza che tuttavia non sembra convincere soprattutto le organizzazioni ed in Paesi che più si sono battuti a favore dell’introduzione di norme rigorose per la tutela dei prodotti biologici. Sempre nel testo emendato si propone di azzerare il ‘periodo di conversione’ non solo per i terreni incolti ma anche per i terreni per i quali è possibile dimostrare che siano state usate solo sostanze autorizzate per la produzione biologica per un intervallo di tempo almeno pari al ‘periodo di conversione’ stesso.

I numeri dei prodotti biologici in Europa

Attorno all’agricoltura biologica ruotano molteplici interessi non solo economici ma anche sociali e culturali. Negli ultimi anni i prodotti biologici hanno ampliato il loro mercato anche per effetto delle garanzie di qualità e rispetto dell’ambiente definito dalle normative europee. Per le aziende agricole la conversione alla produzione bio rappresenta una opportunità in più per differenziale la produzione e sottrarla alla concorrenza dei prodotti importati da paesi extra-UE. La produzione biologica è inoltre un tassello fondamentale nella difesa della biodiversità dell’agricoltura.

Un rapporto della Commissione Europea dell’ottobre del 2013 mostra come il trend dell’agricoltura biologica sia in forte ascesa. Tra il 2002 ed il 2011 la superficie destinata all’agricoltura biologica nell’Unione Europea è passata 5,7 milioni di ettari a 9,6 milioni di ettari, valori a cui corrisponde una crescita media del 6% all’anno. Sempre con riferimento al 2011, le unità produttive destinate ai prodotti biologici rappresentavano circa il 5% del totale.

Una tendenza alla diffusione dell’agricoltura biologica che coinvolge molto direttamente anche l’Italia, paese che da sempre punta molto sulle qualità del proprio settore agro-alimentare. Sempre nel 2011 più dell’8% delle unita agricole italiane erano destinate a produzioni biologiche.

Photo | Thinkstock

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