- Support IFOAM Today
- IFOAM, UNCTAD and FAO Launch Tools for Uniting the Organic World
- World Food Day 2008
- IFOAM Activities at the First West Africa Summit on Organic Agriculture
- Organic Farming Could Feed Africa
- Organic Agriculture is One of the Priority Sectors of the UNEP Green Economy Initiative to Get the Global Markets Back to Work
- The French Version of the Publication “Organic Agriculture and HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa” is Available in IFOAM Bookstore
- Organic Gambas from Madagascar Receive Highest French Consumer Price
- Upcoming Organic Agriculture Related Events
1. Support IFOAM Today
| ||Representing every facet of organic farming, production, and trade – from small farmers and regional cooperatives to international corporations – IFOAM is working to ensure a more sustainable future. |
In the last year, with your support we have successfully increased adoption of Organic Agriculture practices to:
To continue our important work, we need your help. Our 2008 donation campaign is currently underway. Your generous contribution to IFOAM will enable us to promote the mission of Organic Agriculture movements worldwide.
- Combat hunger
- Improve food security
- Lessen environmental degradation
- Protect biodiversity
- Reduce dependence on fossil fuels
For your convenience, donations can be made online at www.ifoam.org/donatenow.html.
2. IFOAM, UNCTAD and FAO Launch Tools for Uniting the Organic World
| ||The International Task Force on Harmonization and Equivalence in Organic Agriculture (ITF) has completed its work and launched two practical tools to facilitate the trade flow of organic products worldwide. Led for six years by a partnership of IFOAM, UNCTAD and FAO, the ITF sought solutions for barriers to trade in the organic sector due to a multitude of organic standards, government technical regulations and certification performance requirements that now characterize the sector. Governments and private certification and accreditation bodies can now depend on one set of instruments for assessing the equivalence of standards, technical regulations and certification requirements. Equivalence will ease trade barriers and foster organic market development worldwide. |
EquiTool, which facilitates the equivalence of standards for organic production and processing, includes assessment criteria and emphasizes reference to the international standards of IFOAM and Codex Alimentarius.
IROCB (International Requirements for Organic Certification Bodies) will enable the recognition of organic certification bodies worldwide. Based on ISO 65 (General Requirements for Bodies Operating Product Certification Systems), IROCB (pronounced eye-rock-bee) also includes performance requirements specific to organic certification.
The ITF Tools were launched by IFOAM Vice President Urs Niggli, UNCTAD Director General Supachai Panitchpakdi and FAO Assistant Director General Alexander Mueller at a public session following the 8th ITF meeting. The final ITF meeting was held on 6-7 October at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.
“The growth of organic agriculture presents a very good opportunity for farmers to participate in trade”, noted the FAO Deputy Director during his remarks at the public session. “Market demand is strong and consumers know that the quality of organic products is high and the production system is environmentally friendly.”
“The food supply and price crisis have called to attention the problems in agriculture. The way that the world grows its food will have to change radically to meet these changes, and organic agriculture is an approach with strong potential to address the problems,” observed the UNCTAD Director General. “The sector is growing rapidly and presents opportunity for producers. Organic agriculture is particularly well suited for smallholder farmers. It preserves traditional knowledge and reduces dependence on external inputs. Constraints include the requirements to obtain organic certification for different markets. To address these constraints, the public and private sectors should embrace the ITF findings and tools.”
“Now we have another result in the organic sector from a public-private cooperation, stated IFOAM’s Vice President. “The cooperation of FAO, UNCTAD and IFOAM on the ITF has produced two important tools to support organic market development. ITF is one of the rare successful examples of public-private partnership. It is of utmost importance to intensify and enhance the partnership of IFOAM, UNCTAD and FAO.”
Participants in the ITF praised the tools. Some participants, such as those from the EU Commission and IFOAM, committed to using these tools in their systems, and others committed to advocating in their own regions for their adoption.
3. World Food Day 2008
| ||On October 16th 2008, IFOAM joined the international community to celebrate World Food Day with the theme “World Food Security: the Challenges of Climate Change and Bioenergy”.|
IFOAM delivered a press release titled: Organic Agriculture offers systemic approach to climate change and agrofuels. This press release was sent as sample to IFOAM members and other organic organizations around the world in order to heighten public awareness of the world food problem and maximize the visibility and positive message of Organic Agriculture around the world.
Read the full text of this IFOAM Press Release!
4. IFOAM Activities at the First West Africa Summit on Organic Agriculture
| ||From November 17th to 21st 2008, the Organic Agriculture Project in Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria (OAPTIN) and the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria, are organizing the West African Organic Summit on Organic Agriculture. |
The theme of the conference is “Organic Agriculture and the Millennium Development Goals.”
IFOAM is involved in this event and will organize several activities such as:
An Advocacy Training for representatives of the African movements in conjunction to the summit,
- A session on the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa,
- A Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS) Workshop, and
- A Presentation of IFOAM’s work on “Building sustainable organic sectors”, an information package which gives guidance for appropriate development options for emerging organic sectors, with a focus on developing countries. It includes recommendations on possible options for governments, the private sector, development agencies, and consultancies on how to achieve sustainable development of the sector.
For more information on the West Africa Summit on Organic Agriculture, please contact Prof. O.J. Ariyo; Chairman, SOC or Dr. F. O. A. George; Secretary SOC.
5. Organic Farming Could Feed Africa
| ||Organic farming offers Africa the best chance of breaking the cycle of poverty and malnutrition it has been locked in for decades, according to the study “Organic Agriculture and Food Security in Africa” from the UNEP-UNCTAD Capacity Building Task Force on Trade, Environment and Development (CBTF).|
New evidence suggests that organic practices – derided by some as a Western lifestyle fad – are delivering sharp increases in yields, improvements in the soil and a boost in the income of Africa's small farmers who remain among the poorest people on earth. The head of the UN's Environment Programme, Achim Steiner, said the report "indicates that the potential contribution of organic farming to feeding the world maybe far higher than many had supposed".
For more information, please visit http://www.independent.co.uk/news.
6. Organic Agriculture is One of the Priority Sectors of the UNEP Green Economy Initiative to Get the Global Markets Back to Work
| ||The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has announced in a press release the launch of the Green Economy Initiative, which seeks to respond to the global economic downturn by focusing on economic growth and job creation in environmental industries. |
The US$4 million Green Economy Initiative was launched on 22 October 2008, in London, UK, and is funded by the European Commission, Germany and Norway. It builds on the G8+5 study on the Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity, which highlighted the strong links between ecosystem and biodiversity losses and the persistence of poverty.
The Green Economy initiative has three priorities, including valuing and mainstreaming nature's services into national and international accounts; employment generation through green jobs and the laying out of the policies; instruments and market signals able to accelerate a transition to a Green Economy.
Five Priority Sectors Underpinning a Global Green New Deal
The sectors likely to generate the biggest transition in terms of economic returns; environmental sustainability and job creation are:
Read the full UNEP Press Release!
- Clean energy and clean technologies including recycling
- Rural energy, including renewable and sustainable biomass
- Sustainable agriculture, including organic agriculture
- Ecosystem Infrastructure
- Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD)
- Sustainable cities including planning, transportation and green building
7. The French Version of the Publication “Organic Agriculture and HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa” is Available in IFOAM Bookstore
| ||This report, Agriculture Biologique et VIH/SIDA en Afrique Subsaharienne, provides a deeper understanding and brings fresh perspectives and clarity on the role of Organic Agriculture and its relation to sound nutrition and food security, particularly in mitigating the impacts of poor people living with HIV and AIDS in SSA. It also informs and provides recommendations to governments, international organizations and donors on the contribution of organic farming techniques, food and nutrition when placing health and agro-biodiversity as main objectives. |
The printed copy of this publication costs 9 Euro, the CD-Rom - 7 Euro and the download version - 5 Euro.
The publication may be ordered via the IFOAM web shop at http://shop.ifoam.org/bookstore/
8. Organic Gambas from Madagascar Receive Highest French Consumer Price
| ||Organic shrimp (gambas) from Madagascar have been elected ‘Saveur de l’année 2008’ by French professionals and consumers, a distinction that rewards the tastiest foods on the French market. These organic shrimp, raised in Anka-rana (north-west of the island) by Oso, have been elected as the best produce on the market in the crustacean category for the fourth consecutive year. The ’Saveur de l’Année 2008’ prize rewarded the exceptional flavor, texture and color of the organic shrimp. This distinction proves once again that it is possible to produce organic and be in the top-of-the range market segment.|
For more information, visit
9. Upcoming Organic Agriculture Related Events
| ||West Africa Summit on Organic Agriculture |
November 17-21 2008
Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria
For more information, please contact Prof. O.J. Ariyo; Chairman, SOC or Dr. F. O. A. George; Secretary SOC.
Ecological Agriculture: Mitigating Climate Change, Providing Food Security and Self-Reliance for Rural Livelihoods in Africa
November 26-28 2008
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
For more information, contact Sue Edwards.
African Pavilion at the BioFach 2009
February 19-22 2008
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