PRESS RELEASE: Working together towards sustainable farming systems across Europe – 11th European Organic Congress

Tallinn, Estonia, 5 September 2017 – To reach the Organic Vision 2030, IFOAM EU has launched an Organic Roadmap to Sustainable Food and Farming Systems in Europe at the 11th European Organic Congress. It sets out pathways to support an ambitious implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) where the agri-food sector must play a critical role. The launch of the Roadmap follows the Estonia EU Presidency’s Informal Meeting for Agricultural Ministers which examined how the future Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) can empower farmers with effective tools for risks management.

Welcoming participants to the Congress, Christopher Stopes, IFOAM EU President, said “Our Roadmap shows how organic farming can continue to play an important role in producing quality food, creating viable business opportunities, and protecting and enhancing the environment. The organic model provides a proven path to achieving the SDGs. The Commission’s recent CAP public consultation clearly demonstrates that a new deal is needed between farmers and citizens. To capitalise on the potential of organics, the EU and national governments need to fully integrate the SDGs into all the EU’s policies, including the CAP.”(1)

Elisabeth Backteman, State Secretary to the Minister for Rural Affairs of Sweden, put it this way during the opening plenary: “Organic is part of the solution, in Sweden this is reflected in the growing demand of Swedish consumers for organic and the government’s commitment to reach 60% of organic food in public kitchens by 2030. We need now to develop the organic production even further, and to move much more towards more ambitious and targeted rural development investments rather than subsidies based on area.”

Jan Plagge, IFOAM EU Vice President for Policy added: “The current debate on CAP reform clearly highlights that a CAP fit for the modern age must ensure fair farm incomes and the delivery of public goods demanded by society are not in conflict. Risk management tools such as insurance schemes will just encourage overproduction and undermine farm viability and our environment. A CAP prioritising public goods for public benefit, backed by a well-resourced EU budget, has the greatest chance of achieving the ambitions of the SDGs and contributing to fair farm incomes that also deliver on societal expectations.”(2)

Visit www.euorganic2030.bio to learn more about the Roadmap, submit your examples for making it happen and get inspired by other initiatives!

(1) SDG Watch Europe (2017). Sustainability Principles for the future EU budget
(2) IFOAM EU (2017). A CAP for healthy farms, healthy people and healthy planet

For more information please contact:
Magdalena Wawrzonkowska, Communications Manager
+32 (0)2 808 7991, magdalena.wawrzonkowska [at] ifoam-eu.org

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