The sporadic efforts made by Organic farmers organisations over many years to set up their own professional network, culminating in the Vignola assembly 2008, have begun to take root. INOFO is now an autonomous self-organised structure within IFOAM. The first practical steps are being taken in the setting up of minimal infrastructure that belongs specifically to Organic farmers organisations, that can facilitate a relationship allowing them to consult & cooperate and, eventually, to speak with a legitimate common voice on matters of common concern.
The initial INOFO objectives have been limited to:
I) The organisations establishing their own network of Convenors & Deputy Convenors from the grass roots upwards, that is, mandated by the full consent of existing organisations in each Convenorship.
II) Convenors therefore facilitating a relationship, specifically between Organic farmers organisations within each continent in the first instance, whatever the wider unions or multi-professional bodies to which they otherwise belong.
III) Each organisation mandating a farmer & a staff member to be responsible together for external relations, thus relating to the network via the Convenors mandated by the farmers organisations in each country.
Having identified all organisations and understood their exact nature and activities, the Convenors will be informed of what is wanted on the agenda, can circulate reports, statements and proceedings and can facilitate internal and external consultations. Each Convenorship organises its own translation services where necessary.
Thus the Organic farmers organisations can be clearly represented within IFOAM and beyond, and can cooperate in pursuing their common objectives as they relate to food sovereignty in general and, in particular, to public policy and land rights, climatic adaptation, production standards & guarantee systems, marketing & pricing negotiations, participatory research, technical exchanges & education and all other farmers concerns.
Each Convenor (with a Deputy from another farmers organisation) facilitates occasional or annual consultations at national or regional level, as well as helping organise the inter-continental assembly every three years. The 2011 INOFO Assembly in Korea brought together delegates and convenors from fifty organisations in 27 countries, representing about half a million farming families. The Assembly set the organisational and thematic Agenda and elected an inter-continental executive for the following 3-year period.
The following Convenorships have been or are being established. Farmers organisations are invited to mandate a person to keep in contact with the nearest Convenor, whose name and address will be known among organisations that have consented to the mandate:
- Africa francophone, Africa West+Central anglophone, Africa South-East
- Europe West, Europe East
- Asia West+Central, Asia South, Asia South-East, Asia East; Australia+NZ, Pacific
- America North, America Central+Caribbean, America South
Enquiries: apinschof [at] fnab [dot] org (contact) Anton Pinschof (FNAB, France),
Executive Secretary of INOFO Council of Convenors