France creates organic food agency
develop organic food and agriculture in the country, officials
France on Monday created a new agency dedicated to promote and develop organic food and agriculture in the country, officials said. The semi-public "Agence Bio", comprising government officials and organic food producers and transformers, will help France reach its goal of producing organic food on one million hectares (ha) by 2005, the farm ministry said. The agency will also manage the "AB" organic label and evaluate the environmental and social impact of organic farming, the ministry said. In 2000, France devoted 370,000 ha - or 1.3 percent of the total farm area in France - to organic food production. That was double the level of only two years earlier, it said.