|Symposium on Globalization, Organic and Fair at BioFach|
February 23, 2005
Symposium on Globalization, Organic and Fair at BioFach
|Nuremberg, 23rd February 2005 - At the occasion of the world’s leading organic BioFach fair in Nuremberg, the German Federal Ministry of Consumer Protection, Food and Agriculture (BMVEL), in cooperation with the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), organized an international symposium entitled “Yes to globalization – but value-oriented, organic and fair”, which took place on February 23rd. More than 250 participants from all over the world shared their views on the topic in two different sessions that featured high-level speakers such as the German Minister of Agriculture Renate Künast, the Brazilian Minister of Agriculture Roberto Rodrigues and the alternative Nobel Prize laureate and activist Vandana Shiva from India.|
Globalization is a hot topic on national and international agendas, and
is quite often considered by nations and multinationals to be a purely
economical issue. However, organic agriculture’s and fair trade’s role
in globalization often goes unnoticed. Practical examples of the
potential of organic agriculture and fair trade to combat poverty and
ensure food security in a global economy were a central part of the
discussions at the Symposium.
The most recent data show that 26 million hectares are certified to organic standards worldwide, and the market for organic products is currently valued at more than 26 billion US dollars. The volume for fair trade products is growing 30-40% per year, socially and economically benefiting farmers in developing countries all over the world.
The first session focused on “aspects of globalization versus regionalization”. IFOAM President Gunnar Rundgren emphasized that the true costs of production should be paid for, and that all the environmental costs, such as the emissions from all transports, should paid for as a conditions for a freer trade in agriculture products. He also noted that “the WTO agreement is biased in favor of freedom for capital and profits” and he called for restrictions and obligations to be linked to such a freedom.
The second session focused on synergies between fair and organic, featuring five international speakers from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the fair trade movement, which is growing at an estimated 30-40% per year. Luuk Zonneveld, Director of the Fair Trade Labeling Organization (FLO), emphasized that fair and organic share the common goal of creating high quality products that also benefit the quality of life for farmers and consumers.
One of the recommendations resulting from the symposium is to develop and implement an action plan for the integration of organic agriculture and fair trade.
This symposium continued the successful cooperation between the German Ministry of Consumer Protection, Food and Agriculture and IFOAM to foster information exchange and discussion on important and relevant themes. Focusing on the ethics of globalization, this third and crucial Symposium was a significant contribution to the global agenda for trade and the environment in 2005.
The text of this press release is also available in German and can be downloaded from www.ifoam.org/press/index.html
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IFOAM Press Release, responsible Bernward Geier, Director for International Relations
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