|January 2008, Vol.3, no.1|
- Update on the IFOAM Organic Guarantee System Revision
- Don’t Forget – Important Deadline for the IFOAM General Assembly 2008: Member motions to be submitted by February 23rd 2008
- You can vote by proxy at the next IFOAM General Assembly
- News from Organic Africa at BioFach 2008
- Organic Agriculture Development Training Program
- Food Sovereignty Indaba
- New Book on GMOs in Africa
- Upcoming Organic Agriculture related events
1. Update on the IFOAM Organic Guarantee System Revision
| ||IFOAM is revising its Organic Guarantee System (OGS) in order to provide considerably more access to it for producers, standard-setting and certification bodies, and governments, and to enhance collaboration in integrity and development of the organic sector worldwide. |
Recognizing that the organic sector now includes governments and intergovernmental organizations as well as organic market participants and civil society, IFOAM is redesigning the OGS to accommodate and enhance participation of all committed interested parties. A major aspect of making the OGS more accessible is the comprehensive revision of the IFOAM Basic Standards (IBS). The standards are being converted to standards for standards. This means that they are not as prescriptive as in the past and will be better able to accommodate regional conditions such as climate and geographical conditions and the stage of development of Organic Agriculture in a region. This of course has implications for Africa.
The comment period on the 2nd revision draft of the IFOAM Benchmark for standards has been recently closed. The Standard Committee is currently preparing a third draft on which IFOAM members will be invited to make motions on specific language changes until April 15th 2008. Be sure to watch for the invitation for motions. If you see language in the final draft that may not accomplish the objective to accommodate the situation of Africa, then please participate in the process and submit a motion to change language. The invitation for motions will include instructions for how to do this.
A discussion meeting on the OGS revision, including the IFOAM Benchmark for Standards is currently scheduled for February 22 from 16:30 to 18:00 in Room Seoul at BioFach in order to inform about the revision process and discuss the questions of the membership. We encourage all African members attending the African pavilion to participate at this meeting. This is a huge opportunity to let your position be known on how to include African circumstances in the Organic Guarantee System and truly be an active IFOAM member in the OGS revision.
For more information about the OGS revision, visit: www.ifoam.org/about_ifoam/standards/OGS_Revision/OGS_Revision.html.
2. Don’t Forget – Important Deadline for the IFOAM General Assembly 2008: Member motions to be submitted by February 23rd 2008
| ||Please send your motion to the IFOAM Executive Director Angela B. Caudle de Freitas at: A.Caudle@ifoam.org by February 23, 2008.|
For more information, visit: www.ifoam.org/ga
In case you have any question in regard to GA motions, please contact Thomas Cierpka at: T.Cierpka@ifoam.org.
3. You can vote by proxy at the next IFOAM General Assembly
| ||The General Assembly (GA) is the place where IFOAM member organizations can execute their voting right and influence directly the future fate of the federation. At the GA, motions will be discussed and voted; a new World Board will be elected, etc. |
It is no doubt that all members agree about the importance to be present respectively represented at the GA, but not all can send a representative to the GA. Proxy voting allows you to appoint another member to vote on your behalf.
If your organization cannot send a representative to the GA, please contact IFOAM member organizations close to you and transfer your voting right per proxy to one of them having your trust and being instructed with your decisions. According to IFOAM statutes a person can act as proxy for a maximum four other members.
Make sure to vote by proxy if, for any reason, your organization cannot be represented at the GA.
4. News from Organic Africa at BioFach 2008
| ||Africa Pavilion|
At present, 68 applications are listed in the BioFach catalogue, including: 4 from Burkina Faso, 1 from Benin, 6 from Ghana, 10 from Ethiopia, 1 from Cameroon, 6 from Kenya, 1 from Madagascar, 6 from Rwanda, 9 from Tanzania, 14 from Uganda, 7 from Zambia, 1 from Zimbabwe. These are mainly exporters and National organic movements. In total around 120 people from Africa will take part in the pavilion (Hall 4: 340-440).
In addition to the pavilion there will be a day-long symposium.
Time: 23 February 2008, 10:00-17:50
Place: Shanghai Room, CCN Ost, Biofach Fair, Nürnberg Messe, Nuremberg, Germany
Most of the speakers have confirmed their participation to the Symposium. Among them:
• Janet Nukwaya, Minister of Tourism, Trade and Industry, Uganda
• Fatou Gaye Sarr, Minister of Rural Development, Senegal
• Alexander Müller, Deputy Director, FAO, Italy
• Gerald Herrmann, President, IFOAM, Germany
• Friedrich von Kirchbach, Director of Product and Market Development, ITC
For more information, visit: www.organicafrica2008.com/.
5. Organic Agriculture Development Training Program
| ||From July 25th to August 10th 2008, in Sweden, and from January 22nd to February 4th 2009, in Uganda, IFOAM Member Grolink is organizing an Organic Agriculture Development (OAD) training program.|
This year, the program is only open for candidates from African countries.
Don’t forget the deadline for submission of applications: February 20, 2008.
For more information, visit: www.grolink.se/Projects/OAD/OAD-Training.htm.
6. Food Sovereignty Indaba
| ||At June 20-21, 2008, PELUM South Africa will organize the Food Sovereignty Indaba in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. |
The two day Food Sovereignty Indaba aims to bring together producers, consumers, retailers, chefs, NGO’s, government, and other stakeholders to explore ways to make South Africa’s food and agriculture systems more sustainable.
The Indaba will house a lecture and entertainment theater, a photo exhibition, a fair-trade and organic market place and shops, and a food court with cooking demonstrations. Farmers and PELUM members will again compete for the Indigenous Food Fundi Award. The Indaba will result in a book of selected contributions.
A delegation of four PELUM South African members and three farmers will be selected to enter into the inter-country competition for the best display on Food Security, Food Sovereignty, Human and Environmental Health at the Tri-Annual General Meeting of PELUM Association held in Tanzania in October 2008.
For more information contact Monique Salomon at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
7. New Book on GMOs in Africa
| ||The African Centre for Biosafety has published a new book titled ‘GMOs in Africa: food and agriculture: Status report 2007’.|
The book provides an overview of the current status of genetic engineering in Africa's agriculture and food systems. It provides a synopsis of the current situation in Africa, an analysis of the key issues and trends, regional overviews and country by country status reports.
The book is available for download at: www.biosafetyafrica.net/portal/
8. Upcoming Organic Agriculture related events
| ||Organic Africa at BioFach 2008|
February 21-24 2008
The 16th IFOAM Organic World Congress: Cultivate the Future
June 18-20 2008
Food Sovereignty Indaba
June 20-21 2008
Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
For more information, contact Monique Salomon at: email@example.com.
IFOAM General Assembly
June 22-24 2008
Organic Agriculture Development Training Program
July 25th to August 10th 2008, in Sweden, and
January 22nd to February 4th 2009, in Uganda
Head Office Contact Information
53113 Bonn, Germany
© 2009 IFOAM - All rights reserved.
International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) e.V.
Trial Court Bonn, Association Register no. 8726
Executive Board: Gerald A. Herrmann, Alberto Lernoud, Mette Meldgaard