Organic products have seen a 69% increase in sales from €18.1 billion in 2010 to €34.3 billion in 2017. Following up on the ECA's Special Report No 9/2012 published in June 2012, the ECA decided in 2018 to make another audit into the EU's organic market. The latest report has just been published, and it found that the control system had improved, and its earlier recommendations had generally been implemented, but some challenges remained. In this report, the ECA makes further recommendations to address the remaining weaknesses it identified. In particular it recommends that MSs improve the supervision of imported organic products through better cooperation, as well as to carry out more complete traceability checks. The EU imported organic products from more than 100 countries in 2018, but many products in the recent audit still could not be traced back to the producer or the process took longer than three months. In addition, the changes in the legal framework, coordination and procedures recommended previously, are not EU-wide and vary between MSs.
Organic products are marketed at prices up to 150% higher than the price of comparable conventionally produced food. This price differential drives an increase in production, but also an increase in fraud, which recent cases had shown. Mafia ties were found in Italy related to wheat imports from Romania that had been incorrectly labelled as organic. Another example of fraud was 40 tonnes of German strawberries labelled as organic, which were found to contain 25 pesticides.