A window of opportunity to promote organic farming is open for the Central and Eastern European Countries (CEEC) that joined the EU in 2004. The development of organic farming has the potential to decrease the amount of nutrient leaching to the Baltic Sea and could help to stop the environmental degradation of the Sea. However, this requires a diverse set of institutions. This paper explores the institutions that are lacking to promote the full development of organic farming in the CEEC, using Sweden as a baseline reference. A case study approach, formalised by introducing a set of indicators, has been used to identify the missing institutions. Data have been obtained from a desktop study, including a literature review, interviews and a questionnaire. The case studies partially support previous studies proposing that the development of organic farming proceeds along six steps: establishment of an organic farming community; establishment of political recognition; establishment of financial support; establishment of non-competitive relationships between the organic sector and general agricultural institutions; establishment of an organic food market; and development of a discussion and coordination arena. The results show that market development is the least developed step and that there is a correlation between higher governmental engagement and a more developed organic sector.
organic farming institutions Baltic sea Poland Baltic states