|IFOAM Summit 2004 - Furthering the Organic Market|
November 10, 2004
IFOAM International Summit on Furthering the Organic Market
The organic movement reviews structure and programs in preparation for its General Assembly 2005 in Adelaide, Australia
Bonn, 10.11.2004, The International Federation of Organic Movements (IFOAM) today successfully ended its International Summit on Furthering the Organic Market. Eighty participants from 50 countries representing the worldwide leadership of IFOAM came together to discuss IFOAM’s future objectives and strategies for furthering organic development and growth of the market. The modernization of the IFOAM Organic Guarantee System, which is the tool for harmonizing organic standards and certification in the world, was a central topic during the five-day meeting in Bonn, Germany. The Summit was the most important event on the roadmap preparing IFOAM’s next General Assembly, which will be held in September 2005 in Adelaide Australia.
IFOAM’s President Gunnar Rundgren concluded the Summit saying: “The
dynamics and the expertise of the organic community are outstanding.
This Summit was a milestone for IFOAM and the development of organics
worldwide. The World Board is inspired and committed to implementing
the results of the Summit!”
A two-day ‘Summit’ constituted the core event in the deliberations of the World Board with invited experts from IFOAM’s worldwide active membership representing all Committees, Regional Groups, Interest Bodies, and stakeholders of the Organic Guarantee System, including accredited certifiers and the International Organic Accreditation Service (IOAS). Topics of the Summit included membership issues, the regionalization concept and the review of the ‘Principles of Organic Agriculture’, which is the guiding document for the private and public definition of what is ‘organic’. The draft ‘IFOAM Program 2008’ to be accepted by the IFOAM General Assembly in September 2005 was presented and discussed; when accepted this document will guide the Federation for the coming years.
In her welcome address to the Summit Bärbel Höhn, Minister for Agriculture, Environment and Consumer Protection of the Federal State of Northrhine-Westfalia, Germany stated: “Our support was instrumental for IFOAM establishing its Head Office in Bonn one year ago. As a supporter of organic agriculture in my state I am impressed by the dedication with which IFOAM is instrumental in influencing the agricultural policy on the worldwide level.”
The main topic of the Summit was the review of the Organic Guarantee System, which encompasses IFOAM’s Norms, the Basic Standards and Accreditation Criteria, and the Accreditation Program. More and more governments are introducing regulations, like the EU Regulation on Organic Farming and the National Organic Program of the US, which together with other influencing parameters of the international market development, have caused IFOAM to adjust its activities in ensuring international organic integrity. The criteria, having been established by the World Board for that review, were welcomed by the participants of the Summit. They included improved market access and accessibility for the participants in the system, user friendliness and increased value for internal and external stakeholders.
Important Side Events
Alongside the Summit a series of other events and meetings took place, including a two-day meeting of the ‘Development Forum’, an IFOAM Committee advising the World Board on important topics with regard to the Developing World. The positive impact of organic agriculture on biodiversity and food security was discussed as well as issues concerning GMO free seed and local participatory guarantee systems.
IFOAM successfully runs international programs and projects for developing organic food and farming, including training, advocacy and structure building. These projects are guided and supervised by an international expert council, the Program Steering Committee, coming from all continents which also met for two days. Future IFOAM programmatic work was developed, and recommendations were formulated for World Board approval.
Maheswar Ghimire from Nepal expressed his appreciation of the whole event: “I was glad that I could contribute and I was impressed by the overall engagement and working atmosphere. We achieved a great deal, concrete agreements about directions and what further steps to be taken. I travel home inspired with new strategies to further develop organic in my part of the World.”
IFOAM Press Release, responsible Gerald A. Herrmann, Executive Director
IFOAM Head Office.
Charles-de-Gaulle-Str. 5, 53113 Bonn, Germany
Tel: +49 228 9 26 50 10 Fax: +49 228 9 26 50 99 Mobile +49 177 55 21 46 0
http://www.ifoam.org, mail to: headoffice@ifoam.
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