The European Commission is releasing €18m (US$21.3m) over the next five years to improve the quality and safety of organic food in the European Union (EU), by boosting standards in farming, manufacture, transportation and retail.

Funded by the EU’s sixth framework programme on research, the Quality Low Input Food project will develop new technologies to assist the production of organic tomatoes, lettuce, onions, potatoes, carrots, cabbages, apples, wheat, pork, dairy and poultry products.

These innovations, said a Commission note, would “improve the nutritional, microbiological and toxicological quality and safety of organic foods”.

The project will start by investigating the taste, safety and shelf life standards required by organic food consumers.