Home / News / Member´s Adresses / Newsletters / Calendar of events / Activities / Working groups / Photo Gallery / Links
Nyeleni European Food Sovereignty Forum in Austria
Source: Nyeleni Forum. 04/09/11
The Nyeleni European Food Sovereignty Forum in Krems, Austria, took place from 16 to 21 August 2011. The forum adopted the first European Declaration on Food Sovereignty. The declaration proclaims, “we are convinced that a change to our food system is a first step towards a broader change in our societies”. The full text of the declaration is available here. Over 400 delegates from European countries committed to strengthening their collective capacity to reclaiming community control over food system, to resisting the agro-industrial system and to expanding and consolidating a strong European movement for Food Sovereignty. Over 120 organisations and individuals, representing civil society and social movements, discussed the impact of current European and global policies. Together they developed a comprehensive platform and a set of principles to achieve food sovereignty in Europe. The forum emphasized the contribution of voices of young people, woman and food producers, whose concerns are often overlooked. This diversity and richness of experience enabled the forum to identify a common framework, and to define a joint action plan based on a democratic and participatory process. The forum delegates strongly committed to taking the food system into their own hands by working towards an ecologically sustainable and socially just model of food production and consumption based on non-industrial smallholder farming, processing and alternative distribution; decentralizing the food distribution system and shortening the chain between producers and consumers; improving working and social conditions, particularly in field of food and agriculture; democratizing decision-making on the use of the commons and heritage (land, water, air, traditional knowledge, seeds and livestock); and ensuring that public policies at all levels guarantee the vitality of rural areas, fair prices for food producers and safe, and GMO-free food for all.
IFOAM EU Conference: Resource Efficiency and Food Security
Source: IFOAM. 03/09/11
Resource efficiency is identified as one of seven flagship initiatives by the European Commission under the EU 2020 Strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. Recent reports by the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) and the European Commission Standing Committee on Agricultural Research (SCAR) have clearly underlined the challenges across the entire food chain, the necessary changes required and the potential for investment in agro-ecological approaches for food security in a resource scarce world. Working in accordance with agro-ecological principles, sustainable agricultural systems, including organic agriculture, have much potential to contribute to a more resource efficient Europe. The IFOAM EU Conference "Resource Efficiency and Food Security: Opportunities and Challenges for Sustainable Food Systems" will take place in Brussels, Belgium on 9 November 2011. The conference will deal with the following key features: examination of the relationship between resource efficiency and food security and of the role of system approaches to sustainable food and farming (with global experts and regional speakers), knowledge sharing, exchange of ideas and development of solutions, and meetings with key decision-makers and high-level stakeholders. The draft programme for the conference is available here IFOAM
Palestinian desire for food security drives farming innovation
Source: Guardian weekly. 17/06/11
Palestinians receive bags of flour at a United Nations food aid distribution centre in Gaza Now the territory's agriculture sector is recovering with the use of organic methods. Photograph: Ali Ali/EPA In a rural area of the central Gaza Strip, Eyad Najjar plucks organic carrots from the sandy soil of his tiny farm. Najjar no longer uses fertilisers or pesticides for his plot, which also grows tomatoes, parsley, rocket, lettuce and spinach. Instead, a fishpond on the field's far edge delivers water rich in nutrients via drip irrigation. Smiling, Najjar squeezes an almost-ripe fruit hanging from the branch of a lemon tree. "The onions and lemons are bigger and better," he says. But Najjar is not part of a hip, green revolution. In Gaza, organic agriculture has grown out of a concern for safe supplies of food. When Hamas took control in 2007, Israel imposed a crippling blockade. Not only were a number of foods blocked from entering, but stocks of pesticides and fertilisers also dried up. Israeli officials have said militants can use agricultural chemicals to make rockets. Food insecurity among Gaza's 1.6 million people rose, and 80% became reliant on food aid, according to the Word Food Programme. Najjar was one of them. "The rule of thumb back then was that humanitarian items were let in, and if it was for economic development it was not," says Sari Bashi, director of Gisha, an Israeli rights organisation. "But agricultural goods have both humanitarian and economic elements." Some products continued to enter, many through tunnels under Rafah, but the shortage was enough to force farmers to seek out creative alternatives. Families like Najjar's now produce all the fish and vegetables they can eat and can sell the surplus for a small profit. This technique also preserves scant water resources. Only about 10% of Gaza's groundwater is drinkable and agriculture accounts for 60% of demand, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). "In so many other places, this is terribly trendy and green," says Simon Boas, co-ordinator of the FAO's Gaza emergency programme, which initiated the fish farm project. "But in Gaza the resource scarcity is so bad this is actually becoming a necessity." Near the volatile Israeli border, 20km north, organic sage, thyme and fennel lie in the beds of a 1.5-hectare chemical-free farm, part of a pilot project initiated by Gaza's Safe Agriculture Producers Society (SAPS), which aims to spread organic farming techniques in the embattled territory. "At first, most of them didn't want to try it. [They] thought they would lose their harvest if they didn't apply chemicals," says its director, Abd el-Munem. For years, Gazans have relied heavily on imported pesticides and fertilisers. Most saw little incentive to risk trying the organic farming techniques promoted by SAPS, until the chemicals became scarce. "The siege was a good chance for us to convince the farmers that it's possible to produce without these pesticides and without these chemical fertilisers," says Munem. Last year, the Hamas government got on board, announcing a 10-year strategy aimed at skirting the blockade and developing sustainable agriculture. "We try to depend on our own resources. Basically, we're trying to use organic methods and go back to traditional forms of farming," says Dr Mohammed al-Agha, Gaza's minister of agriculture and a professor of environmental science at the Islamic University in Gaza. Gazans pay more than $200 a tonne for fertilisers made from Israeli waste water run-off. The price is high and quality and safety are uncertain, according to some experts. The solution is to produce their own, on a scale large enough to satisfy market demand. In southern Gaza, Palestinian Environmental Friends (PEF) is churning-out organic, locally produced fertilisers. Samir al-Nahhal, an engineer who works on the project, points at the rows of dung and foliage collected from local farms. "We make it like a sandwich, one layer of agricultural waste, one layer of manure." He leans against the machine used to mill the mix of animal droppings and plant waste. "It's designed by Palestinians," he says. Israel has also restricted entry of spare parts for vehicles and machines. PEF is now producing 500-600 tonnes of fertilisers a year at a cost of $100 a tonne and expanding production in a bid to reduce Gaza's dependency on imported products. But this guerrilla agriculture is not "pure organic farming", Nahhal cautions. It could be a long time before Gazans see the "organically grown" label on their tomatoes. There is no process for organic certification in Gaza and international bodies struggle to gain access to the besieged enclave. The Palestinian Centre for Organic Agriculture (PCOA) instead uses the Global GAP system, which sets voluntary standards for good agricultural practice, including minimising chemicals. The centre runs farms aimed at spreading the practices, and is preparing to plant a new 2.6-hectare vegetable greenhouse in Gaza. Masoud Keshta co-ordinates the FAO's Global GAP projects in Gaza and argues that moving to the stricter organic certification is important to regulate other practices. "For example, if the inspectors come to a farm and find children working, it will stop them from getting the certification," he says. The ministry of agriculture estimates that, one year after the implementation of its new policy, 2-3% of Gaza's agriculture is organic Gaza's minister of agriculture is optimistic about increasing this figure but is wary of setting firm expectations in such a "fragile environment". In 2009, Israel's operation Cast Lead destroyed swaths of Gaza's agricultural land. It was a massive setback, says Agha. While Israel has eased restrictions on many goods, dependence on agricultural imports is an unsafe bet for Gazans. "Chemicals are available, but we are still going on, convincing farmers that food security can be achieved without them," says Munem. "Our approach is better for the health of the people — it's better for food security." Egypt has reopened the Rafah border crossing with Gaza. But due to the volatile political situation, food security must rely on indigenous production or remain a pawn in regional politics. Four years of isolation has bred innovative solutions. Munem stresses Gazans must continue to pursue local, chemical-free farming methods: "The biggest thing for food security is self-reliance."
Manual on importing organic products to Europe
Source: FiBL. 02/07/11
To operate successfully in importing organic products to Switzerland and the European Union, it is crucial to have accurate information on market access conditions, FiBL reports. For this reason, the Swiss Import Promotion Programme (SIPPO) – carried out by Osec, the official Swiss foreign trade promotion agency – and the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) have jointly published a manual. “The Organic Market in Europe” aims to assist interested parties in developing and transitional countries wanting to export organic products to Europe. Across about 150 pages, the handbook offers a wide range of information about the organic market in the EU and EFTA countries, as well as a comparison of the EU Organic Standards and Bio-Suisse Regulations. The manual is available to download from SIPPO. A printed version can be ordered free of charge from FiBL. The Swiss Import Promotion Programme has been promoting imports into Switzerland and the European Union from developing and transitional countries on behalf of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). The programme supports the import of products from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and helps them become integrated into the international trade system. Although SIPPO is mainly aimed at SMEs in developing and transitional countries, Swiss and European importers can also benefit from its services.
Bio-economy” must build on sustainable and participative food chains
Source: IFOAM EU Group. 22/06/11
IFOAM EU Group calls on Commission President Barroso to make a clear statement for a strong 2nd pillar
Brussels – 22 June 2011: The Conference “Sustainable food chains for a European Strategy and Action plan towards a sustainable knowledge-based bio-economy by 2020” was held in the European Parliament today. Urs Niggli, Steering Committee of TP Organics, stated: “Bio-economy at the moment appears as a “gold rush” for the unlimited use of natural resources – but a responsible bio-economy must initially address the sustainable use of resources. Farmers should not be commodity producers but producers of quality food and managers of the eco-system. We should move from technological innovation to clever innovation! We need integrated, comprehensive and sustainable approaches towards innovation; moreover we need partnerships to work out future systems of natural resource use that involve a broad range of civil society, including farmers, scientists, SMEs and consumers.” The conference concluded that three main future actions are needed to make the EU initiative for a “Knowledge Based Bio-Economy” a contribution to sustainable development in the EU: - Focus on comprehensive and sustainable production, retailing and consumption systems and not on single technologies. - Target the delivery of social benefits and public goods to meet pressing social and environmental challenges; the wider development and application of agro-ecological knowledge through innovation can significantly contribute to this objective. Therefore, the EU must invest in maintenance and further development of the organic farming concept and standard. - All innovative potential of the whole agriculture and food sector must be captured to contribute to innovation. The potential of farmers and SMEs to contribute innovation and knowledge in the food and farming sector must be fully recognised. - Creation of transparent relationships between producers and consumers. The Conference “Sustainable food chains for a European Strategy and Action plan towards a sustainable knowledge-based bio-economy by 2020” has been organized by the IFOAM EU Group in cooperation with EEB (European Environmental Bureau), EFFAT (European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Union), EUROCOOP (European Community of Consumer Cooperatives), SLU (Swedish University of Agriculture Sciences), CAAE (Comité Andaluz de Agricultura Ecológica) and TP Organics. The event brought together more then 100 participants who discussed the upcoming challenges for research and innovation towards a sustainable bio-economy with representatives from the European Commission, the European Parliament, the research community, consumers, farm workers, regions and environmental organisations.
Strengthened 2nd pillar urgently needed in financial EU framework 2014-2020
Source: IFOAM EU Group. 22/06/11
IFOAM EU Group calls on Commission President Barroso to make a clear statement for a strong 2nd pillar
Brussels, 22 June 2011 – The IFOAM EU Group calls for a strengthened financial basis for the second pillar under the financial framework 2014-2020 in a letter sent to Commission President José Manuel Barroso today, as it considers rural development measures being of the upmost importance for the environment and rural society.
“The second pillar is of crucial importance to achieve the environmental goals the EU is committed to. Soil erosion, climate change, loss of biodiversity and scarcity of clean water must be addressed to secure our capacity to maintain a sustainable farming system. The environmental challenge can effectively be met through programmes that go further than basic greening measures”, states Christopher Stopes, President of the IFOAM EU Group[i]. ”The second pillar of the CAP has also been an effective way to contribute to the viability of rural economies, especially in peripheral regions. Keeping farmers in business in peripheral regions beset with economic problems and often of high natural value, requires more than direct payments, therefore the second pillar needs an appropriate financial basis to deliver to meet these challenges.”
“Many intensive agricultural systems in the EU continue to have significant negative environmental impacts[ii] and many rural regions face enormous socio-economic difficulties,” adds Thomas Dosch, Vice President of the IFOAM EU Group. “Therefore any attempts to cut the EU budget in rural development policies cannot be in the interest of European citizens. With regard to possible side meetings on the European Council in the next few days and the foreseen publication of the Commission proposal for the EU financial framework 2014-2020 next week, we call on Barroso and the Heads of States to commit to a strong second pillar to face the social, demographic and environmental challenges we face in rural regions by investing in socio-economic development of rural societies as well as in food and farm systems that are less reliant on external inputs, recycle nutrients, work in line with ecological systems and are resilient to changing climate conditions.”
IFOAM EU Group, phone + 32-2-280 12 23, Fax: +32-2-735 73 81,
[i] The IFOAM EU Group represents more than 300 member organisations of IFOAM (International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements) in the EU-27, the EU accession countries and EFTA. Member organisations include: consumer, farmer and processor associations; research, education and advisory organisations; certification bodies and commercial organic companies.
[ii] Adrian Leip, David Grandgirard, Francesco Tubiello, Franz Weiss, Ignacio Perez, Katarzyna Biala, Philippe Loudjani, Suvi Monni, Thomas Fellmann, Tom Wassenaar (2010): Evaluation of the livestock sector's contribution to the EU greenhouse gas emissions (GGELS) – final report. European Commission, Joint Research Centre. http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/analysis/external/livestock-gas/full_text_en.pdf
Too much of a good thing, Nature Comment (2011): Mark A. Sutton, Oene Oenema, Jan Willem Erisman, Adrian Leip, Hans van Grinsven & Wilfried Winiwarter, Nature 472, P. 159–161, (14 April 2011) http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v472/n7342/abs/472159a.html
Does the Amazon suffer from BSE prevention?, Elferink EV et al., Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment Vol 120, 2007, p467– 469, http://ivem.eldoc.ub.rug.nl/FILES/ivempubs/publart/2007/AgricEcosEnvElferink/2007AgricEcosysEnvirElferink.pdf
Bio-economy” must build on sustainable and participative food chains
Source: IFOAM EU Group. 22/06/11
“Bio-economy” must build on sustainable and participative food chains Brussels – 22 June 2011: The Conference “Sustainable food chains for a European Strategy and Action plan towards a sustainable knowledge-based bio-economy by 2020” was held in the European Parliament today. Urs Niggli, Steering Committee of TP Organics, stated: “Bio-economy at the moment appears as a “gold rush” for the unlimited use of natural resources – but a responsible bio-economy must initially address the sustainable use of resources. Farmers should not be commodity producers but producers of quality food and managers of the eco-system. We should move from technological innovation to clever innovation! We need integrated, comprehensive and sustainable approaches towards innovation; moreover we need partnerships to work out future systems of natural resource use that involve a broad range of civil society, including farmers, scientists, SMEs and consumers.” The conference concluded that three main future actions are needed to make the EU initiative for a “Knowledge Based Bio-Economy” a contribution to sustainable development in the EU: - Focus on comprehensive and sustainable production, retailing and consumption systems and not on single technologies. - Target the delivery of social benefits and public goods to meet pressing social and environmental challenges; the wider development and application of agro-ecological knowledge through innovation can significantly contribute to this objective. Therefore, the EU must invest in maintenance and further development of the organic farming concept and standard. - All innovative potential of the whole agriculture and food sector must be captured to contribute to innovation. The potential of farmers and SMEs to contribute innovation and knowledge in the food and farming sector must be fully recognised. - Creation of transparent relationships between producers and consumers. The Conference “Sustainable food chains for a European Strategy and Action plan towards a sustainable knowledge-based bio-economy by 2020” has been organized by the IFOAM EU Group in cooperation with EEB (European Environmental Bureau), EFFAT (European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Union), EUROCOOP (European Community of Consumer Cooperatives), SLU (Swedish University of Agriculture Sciences), CAAE (Comité Andaluz de Agricultura Ecológica) and TP Organics. The event brought together more then 100 participants who discussed the upcoming challenges for research and innovation towards a sustainable bio-economy with representatives from the European Commission, the European Parliament, the research community, consumers, farm workers, regions and environmental organisations. More information: IFOAM EU Group, phone + 32-2-280 12 23, Fax: +32-2-735 73 81, email@example.com, www.ifoam-eu.org
IFOAM-Update on Ehec
Source: IFOAM EU Group /FiBL. 16/06/11
Since 1 May 2011, an outbreak of a new strain of pathogenic EHEC bacteria has claimed the lives of more than thirty people so far in Germany and infected more than 3,200 people with partly heavily consequences for people’s health, see here for the IFOAM EU Group press releases. The epicentre seems to be Northern Germany, where most people where infected. Authorities identified a farm in Lower Saxony that produces organic sprouts to be the most likely the cause. However, it is still unclear how the bacteria could enter the farm as it doesn’t use any inputs from animal sources, such as manure. The IFOAM EU Group emphasis that the outbreak of EHEC is not a question of a specific production systems and opposes all unjustified attempts to make organic system responsible. FiBL has now published a document with background information on EHEC. In the document, the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture presents a summary of scientific facts on the issue. It also confirms that since farming works with nutrient cycles, farmyard manure and slurry are valuable natural resources used to grow plants on all types of holdings and under all types of management. Moreover, livestock farming on organic farms presents a lower risk in terms of the presence of EHEC as has been demonstrated by the incidences seen over the past few years. For example, in 2007 only one case out of a total of 26 E. coli outbreaks in the EU was due to the consumption of organic sausages (Source: ESFA). The Fibl document is available here
Sustainable livestock systems must be a core point in CAP reform
Source: PR IFOAM EU. Debrecen, Hungary, 30/05/2011
The IFOAM EU Group calls for sustainable livestock production on the occasion of the Informal Council meeting in Debrecen. EU Farm Ministers exchanged views on how the CAP should contribute to a sustainable livestock sector at their informal council meeting[i] at Debrecen, East Hungary. A delegation from the IFOAM EU Group was privileged to be invited as an observer at the meeting. The group highlights the critical un-sustainability of current livestock production system that are heavily dependent on livestock feed imported from all around the world. In contrast organic systems place a focus on grass and clover based systems and other livestock feed produced on the farm and linked holdings. Read More "Europe must become a leader in sustainable agriculture by supporting systems that deliver to public benefits such as environmental protection and high animal welfare, and guarantee the sustainable use of natural resources", comments Christopher Stopes, President of the IFOAM EU Group[ii], currently in Debrecen for discussions with national delegations. "Organic agriculture has established an advanced standard for sustainability[iii] in food production. It should be prioritised under all CAP measures, as it delivers significant environmental benefits and serves as laboratory and demonstration case for best sustainability practices for all agriculture." "Some animal husbandry systems are excellent examples of public good delivery, for example low intensity grazing systems, often related to high animal welfare and high natural values. Low input livestock systems with a focus on grazing and roughage feed can be a perfect way of transforming inedible products from otherwise non-suitable land into edible products for human consumption and contribute to biodiversity;" says Marco Schlüter, Director of IFOAM EU Group. "Their disappearance must be prevented by appropriate CAP measures, and organic certification can play a role for guaranteeing that a comprehensive set of aspects of sustainability are taken into consideration here, as well as to secure markets for products from these sustainable livestock systems." "Many intensive animal husbandry systems in the EU continue to have significant negative environmental impacts[iv]," adds Eva Acs, Hungarian Board member of the IFOAM EU Group. "These systems do not only cause environmental harm in the area where they are actually based, but also in third countries due to their high dependence on feed imports. We call on the ministers to initialise serious changes in support systems under the CAP, but also in trade rules and environmental regulation to make our animal husbandry sector more sustainable." More information: IFOAM EU Group, phone + 32-2-280 12 23, Fax: +32-2-735 73 81, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.ifoam-eu.org ------------------ NOTES: -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [i] Information on the informal council meeting 29th -31st May 2011: http://www.eu2011.hu/event/agri-informal; discussion paper: http://register.consilium.europa.eu/pdf/en/11/st09/st09942.en11.pdf
[ii] The IFOAM EU Group represents more than 300 member organisations of IFOAM (International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements) in the EU-27, the EU accession countries and EFTA. Member organisations include: consumer, farmer and processor associations; research, education and advisory organisations; certification bodies and commercial organic companies.
[iii] Organic food and farming - a system approach to meet the sustainability challenge, IFOAM EU Group 2010: www.ifoam-eu.org/workareas/policy/pdf/IFOAMEU_dossier_organic_farming_system_approach.pdf; The Contribution of Organic Agriculture to Climate Change Mitigation, IFOAM/IFOAM EU Group, 2009: http://www.ifoam.org/growing_organic/1_arguments_for_oa/environmental_benefits/pdfs/IFOAM-CC-Mitigation-Web.pdf
[iv] Adrian Leip, David Grandgirard, Francesco Tubiello, Franz Weiss, Ignacio Perez, Katarzyna Biala, Philippe Loudjani, Suvi Monni, Thomas Fellmann, Tom Wassenaar (2010): Evaluation of the livestock sector's contribution to the EU greenhouse gas emissions (GGELS) - final report. European Commission, Joint Research Centre. http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/analysis/external/livestock-gas/full_text_en.pdf Too much of a good thing, Nature Comment (2011): Mark A. Sutton, Oene Oenema, Jan Willem Erisman, Adrian Leip, Hans van Grinsven & Wilfried Winiwarter, Nature 472, P. 159-161, (14 April 2011) http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v472/n7342/abs/472159a.html Does the Amazon suffer from BSE prevention?, Elferink EV et al., Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment Vol 120, 2007, p467- 469, http://ivem.eldoc.ub.rug.nl/FILES/ivempubs/publart/2007/AgricEcosEnvElferink/2007AgricEcosysEnvirElferink.pdf
Resource efficient food system model on Green week
Source: IFOAM EU. 23/05/11
The As natural resources become scarce, production methods and consumption patterns have to adapt. The efficient use of resources is crucial for future farming. Organic farming can provide many assets regarding resource efficiency, as it works in accordance with ecological principles: • Organic farming aims to use renewable resources, increase system recycling and reduce waste. • The use of plant varieties adapted to organic production and supportive conditions for arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi lead to more efficient nutrient use in organic farming. • Energy savings in organic farming are made through sparing synthetic nitrogen fertiliser.[i] Evidence strongly favours organic farming with respect to energy efficiency both on a per hectare and per farm product basis.[ii] The recent report of the UN special rapporteur on the right to food[iii] underlines the role of agro-ecological approaches for food security in a resource constraint world. Consumption is another angle from which we need to address the resource scarcity challenge: The 3rd SCAR foresight report that was presented on the 4th of May[iv] resulted in two narratives which have to be considered in the food production of the future - productivity and sufficiency. It lines out that "to stay within the capacity of system Earth, demand increases need to be mitigated through behavioural change and structural changes in food systems and supply chains." The report also points out that investment in research and innovation are crucial for the productivity side. But innovation is not a one way road - it must be sustainable and it must make use of diverse sources: The research platform TP organics[v] emphasises the importance of farmers as a source of innovation that is often not recognised. Organic food is served at the coffee and lunch breaks of the Green Week and also in selected canteens during these days - that's a good start. Let's make resource efficiency real - and use the assets organic farming has to offer to reach this goal.
BioCultura: Spanish fair of organic products and responsible consumption
Source: Greemt. 23/05/11
The most important organic fair of Spain was a great success with the participation of more than 700 exhibitors and 70,000 visitors at the Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona, Greemt reports. More than 15,000 references of organic food products were the largest segment of the show, along with other sectors such as hygiene products and cosmetics with certified organic ingredients, organic textiles, eco-materials, furniture and home decor, renewable energy, therapies and complementary medicine, saving and recycling garbage, rural tourism and nursing homes, toys, crafts, music, books and magazines, as well as other subjects around ecology and the environment. The diversification of the offer makes Biocultura a real Mediterranean eco-market. (Picture by Greemt: BioCultura 2011)
BioCultura is a mandatory appointment for professionals in Spain who want to get closer to the world of organic and natural products. Each sector has the opportunity to meet directly with distributors and operators to conduct their business easily. Companies, meanwhile, have a showcase for their customers and are able to attract new interested parties by the high level of awareness of the show and its future projection. "Our presence at the fair was essential to support our producers in the internationalization of their products and to capture the latest trends of the organic market in Spain," Martín Romero, European Manager at Greemt said. To be the impulse for domestic consumption of organic products is the priority of BioCultura. Besides the large variety of products, proposals and information are supplied to ease a responsible choice for consumers and help to further improve the consumption habits in the country. Spain is the 9th most important organic food producer in the world, but at the bottom as far as organic consumption is concerned.
BioCultura in brief:
700 exhibitors and 80,000 visitors
Agriculture and organic food: 45 %
Complementary therapies: 12 %
Bioconstruction and renewable energy: 8 %
Clothing, footwear and accessories: 8 %
Ecology, environment, recycling: 6 %
Crafts: 5 %
Music and literature: 5 %
Cosmetics: 5 %
Rural Turism: 3 %
Other: 3 %
New website on biocultural heritage
IIED and partners have just launched a new website: www.bioculturalheritage.org
Biocultural heritage includes a wealth of biological resources - from genetic to landscape level - and long standing traditions and practices for their sustainable use and adaptive management. It also describes the bundle of rights that support indigenous peoples and local communities - Traditional Resource Rights.
This new website draws on research by IIED, research partners and indigenous and local communities in Peru, Panama, Kenya, India and China. It presents biocultural strategies and methodologies for horizontal networking amongst marginalised communities; and emerging biocultural legal and policy frameworks. It provides guidance and downloadable resources for grassroots organisations, researchers, practitioners and policymakers.
For the full press release see:
EU Biodiversity strategy needs ambitious implementation
Brussels, 04/05/2011 – The European Commission published its biodiversity strategy1 yesterday outlining EU policies to halt the loss of biodiversity. The IFOAM EU Group2 believes that the EU must establish an effective legal and financial framework if the targets proposed in the strategy are to be met, especially in relation to the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
President of the IFOAM EU Group, Christopher Stopes, welcomed the Commission's recognition of the importance of biodiversity as essential to securing the survival of our ecosystems. "Organic agriculture movements have long stressed how dependent food production is on ecosystem services, which are highly interlinked with biodiversity. We therefore fully support the EU commitments towards halting the loss of and restoring biodiversity."
Stopes adds: "Biodiversity on farm land can be saved and restored by ambitiously re-shaping the CAP towards the promotion of truly sustainable farming and food systems including targeted support for landscape elements that host a diverse flora and fauna. Organic farms have distinctive advantages for on-farm and landscape biodiversity3 while also delivering other sustainability objectives4.Organic farming therefore must be prioritised under the new CAP as a good practice to reach EU environmental objectives."
Marco Schlüter, Director of the IFOAM EU Group, believes it is now crucial that EU institutions and member states are ambitious in implementing and financing measures to reach the targets. "With the EU failing to meet the Biodiversity 2010 target it is high time that the EU begins to take decisive action in order to halt biodiversity loss. We regret that the biodiversity strategy does not give clearer indications as to how these objectives will be met in agriculture."
Schlüter calls on EU institutions to address halting the loss of biodiversity and the development of research priorities for the next EU framework programme5. "The next research programme must contribute to real sustainable innovation in the food sector. The EU must also recognise the unique place of agrobiodiversity6 which has been and continues to be created by farmers and breeders over generations. The EU legislative framework must promote the use and further development of a diversity of genetic resources in farming for the benefit of society7."
IFOAM EU Group, phone + 32-2-280 12 23, Fax: +32-2-735 73 81,
(1) To be found on the EU Commission biodiversity website: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/biodiversity/comm2006/pdf/2020/1_EN_ACT_part1_v7%5B1%5D.pdf
(2) The IFOAM EU Group represents more than 300 member organisations of IFOAM (International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements) in the EU-27, the EU accession countries and EFTA. Member organisations include: consumer, farmer and processor associations; research, education and advisory organisations; certification bodies and commercial organic companies.
(3) Manual: Organic Farming and Biodiversity in Europe: Examples from the Polar Circle to Mediterranean Regions, IFOAM EU Group 2010: www.ifoam-eu.org/positions/Papers/pdf/Biodiversity_manual_web_18112010.pdf
(4) Organic food and farming – a system approach to meet the sustainability challenge, IFOAM EU Group 2010: www.ifoam-euorg/workareas/policy/pdf/IFOAMEU_dossier_organic_farming_system_approachpdf
(5) Research Action Plan, TP Organics, 2010: www.tporganics.eu
(6) Agrobiodiversity is a subtheme of biodiversity relating to the diversity of cultivated species and varieties as well as livestock breeds on farms, and plays an important role in ensuring adapted, traditional and/or locally-suited types are given the opportunity to grow over the ones selected and bred for large-scale industrial applications. Agrobiodiversity not only offers the option of actively promoting biodiversity through cultivation choices, but also increases the direct benefits of such diversity for humans by providing us with a range of foods and pharmaceuticals we know how to deal with, and as additional bonus point ensures species cultivated are adjusted to the local conditions.
(7) The promotion of the sustainable use of genetic resources requires the consideration of biodiversity targets under the seed marketing rules (revision process is now ongoing, more information: http://ec.europa.eu/food/plant/propagation/evaluation/index_en.htm) should be subject to targeted promotional programmes for the sustainable use of genetic resources.
IFOAM EU Group position on the new CAP:
"CAP post 2013 - Smart change or business as usual", Position Paper of the IFOAM EU group, 2010 http://www.ifoam-eu.org/positions/Papers/pdf/Position_IFOAMEU_CAP_final_7.05.2010.pdf
IFOAM EU Group in Alliances:
Proposal for a new EU Common Agricultural Policy, Common position paper Birdlife, EEB, EFNCP, WWF and IFOAM EU Group, 2009, http://www.ifoam-eu.org/positions/publications/pdf/Proposal_for_a_new_common_agricultural_policy_FINAL_03.2010.pdf
The Agricultural and Rural Convention (ARC) is a civil society platform that agreed "A Communication from Civil Society to the European Union Institutions on the future Agricultural and Rural Policy" in November 2010; or more information: www.arc2020.eu
IFOAM EU Group
Rue du Commerce 124
Phone: +32 2 280 11 51
IFOAM AgriBioMediterraneo General Assembly
The AgriBioMediterraneo international conference „Organic Agriculture and Agro-Eco tourism in the Mediterranean" will take place in Zakynthos, Greece, from 16 to 18 September 2011. The 6th General Assembly (GA) of IFOAM AgriBioMediterraneo (ABM) will be held in Zakynthos on 17 September 2011. During the General Assembly, the Regional Board will present ABM`s activities for the period of 2008-2011, followed by election of the 6th Regional Board (RB), which will be comprised of the three members of the Executive Board (the president, and two vice-presidents); four coordinators of the working groups (marketing, training, standards & certification and research & development); and the ABM Permanent Secretariat. All IFOAM AgriBioMediterraneo's members with voting rights are entitled to send their representatives to the ABM GA. Alll members (representatives of IFOAM members) who are willing to candidate themselves for the Regional Board in the period 2011-2014 are asked to send their written candidatures including a: (1) brief CV, (2) proposed plan of action and (3) letter of support from their organisation. Candidatures must be sent to the ABM Permanent Secretariat, by mail, fax or e-mail by the latest of 31st August 2011. All IFOAM members with voting rights coming from Mediterranean countries are invited to candidate themselves as hosts to the Permanent Secretariat (PS) of the ABM in the period from 2011-2014. Candidates must send their proposals (stating personnel, premises, equipment and funds allocated to the regular work of ABM) to present to PS by mail fax or e-mail latest by 31st August 2011. Important: According to the ABM Statutes, GA is valid only if one third of all members are present. If a member's presence is not possible, it is kindly suggest to authorize any other ABM member to vote through a proxy vote. Votes by written proxy are permitted and restricted to a total of 5 votes per person. Information and contact email for the ABM International Conference: Charikleia Minotou (Greece), and for the ABM General Assembly: ABM Permanent Secretariat SEAE. Emal: email@example.com
- Comic Competition:Organic farming in the Mediterranean. AgriBioMediterraneo organizes an organic farming comics competition, as part of the international conference on organic farming and agro-eco tourism, which will take place in 16-17-18 September 2011 in Zakynthos, Greece. Deadline: make sure you send your comic by 15 July 2011. More information.
- Second call-Prolongation of the deadline for submission of abstracts. AgriBioMediterraneo International Conference "Organic Agriculture and Agro-Eco tourism in the Mediterranean". 16-18 september 2011.
AgriBioMediterraneo Cientific Conference and 6th General Assembly".
Forthcoming international conference in Zakynthos (Greece), September 2011. Download leaflet for further information
IX Scientific Congress of Spanish Society of Organic Agriculture (SEAE). " Food quality and Food safety"
Lleida, Spain. From 6th to 9th of October 2010. Venue: Auditori del Centre de Cultures i Transfronterer Campus de Cap.pont University of Lleida ( UdL).
18th september 2010
IFOAM AgriBioMediterraneo meeting in Majorca
The IFOAM ABM Board has organised a meeting on 17th of September. All members except Yousri Hashem were attending the meeting. Invited people were Fabio Piccioli (FP, IFOAM); Marco Schlueter (MS from IFOAM EU); Ranko Tadic (RT Coratia), V Gonzálvez and Manuela Ravina (SEAE).
Several points were discussed, form the organization and activity of working groups in research, certification, training or marketing), until how to get a legal status of the Group, and the relationship with IFOAM WB and HO, regarding for example how to involve ABM in the a position paper on seeds from IFOAM Another interesting point was related to organise a Mediterranean organic day on 22nd of April, or to attend the Biofach Congress in 2010. How to improve the communications tools of the ABM Group like the Newsletter or the website of ABM was also discussed
Finally it was discussed about how to influence policies of the Mediterranean institutions (like the Union for the Mediterranean (UPM), CIHEAM or MOAN to more support organic farming development.
03 February 2010
International Conference on Organic Agriculture in Scope of Environmental Problems, 3rd-7th February 2010, Famagusta, Cyprus
Organisers started accepting abstract submissions. An abstract of each poster and paper must be submitted to the conference until 15th July 2009. For further information please visit conference web site: organic.emccinstitute.org.
21 September 2009
11th ANNUAL BIOECON CONFERENCE on "Economic Instruments to Enhance the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity", Venice, Italy 21st-22nd September 2009
Conference Announcement and Call for Papers. Further information about the Conference will be posted in the BIOECON web-site at http://www.bioecon.ucl.ac.uk/.
16 September 2009
XV SEAE Technical Conference on Organic Production in Mediterranean Basin, Mallorca, Spain, 16th -19th September 2009
Call for papers: you can present scientific and not scientific papers on the four topics of the Conference.You will find the instructions and template at the SEAE webpage: www.agroecologia.net
10 September 2009
SANA - 21st International Fair of Natural Products, Bologna, Italy,10th-13th September 2009
Preparations for the 21st edition are already underway.
11 July 2009
International Summer School Programme 2009: "AGROECOLOGY: SYSTEMS DESIGN AND MANAGEMENT TOOLS", Colorno (Parma), Italy, 11th-19th July 2009
This course is designed for students, teachers, professors, consultants, and other practitioners.DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS: 7th June 2009
28 June 2009
Course "Eliminating Rural Poverty - The Israel Development experience", Israel, 28th June - 9th July 2009
For more information please refer to http://www.nisped.org.il
29 May 2009
XIV Edition of the CLEAN UP THE MED, Mediterranean, 29th-31st May 2009
We are pleased to invite you to join the Clean Up the Med 2009 Campaign to once again reinforce our common commitment to safeguard the Mediterranean environment.
26 March 2009
IFOAM AgriBioMediterraneo will participate in the Earth Hour. Press release, Valencia, Spain, 26th March 2009
More information: AgriBioMediterraneo Permanent Secretariat, firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: +34961267122
|IFOAM - International Federation of Organic Agriculture | email@example.com|