The EU has put innovation at the heart of its strategy for achieving smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. European Institutions are now deciding how to allocate funding and the choices made now will definitively shape the future of the agriculture and food sector in Europe through the promotion of certain practices over others. Organic food and farming can greatly contribute to meeting the EU objectives. They provide highly sustainable products and the market for such products is expanding rapidly.
Organic approaches must therefore receive high priority on the research & innovation agendas of the EU and Member States. IFOAM EU built a broad and strong coalition by joining forces with civil society organisations, researchers, farmers and companies. Together they established TP Organics, the technology platform for organic food & farming, which identifies innovation goals for organic and promotes these towards policy makers. The aim is to leverage the organic sector’s environmental and societal benefits, including by contributing to innovative sustainable approaches in the wider agricultural sector.
IFOAM EU participates in a number of European research projects:
OK-Net Arable - Organic Knowledge Network Arable
The complexity of organic farming requires farmers to have a very high level of knowledge and skills. But exchange on organic farming techniques remains limited. Coordinated by IFOAM EU, the OK-Net Arable project promotes exchange of knowledge among farmers, farm advisers and scientists with the aim to increase productivity and quality in organic arable cropping all over Europe.
Far from all innovation processes succeed. In fact, many go awry even before they begin. So what makes an innovation process move forward? And what stops it? The EU-project “AgriSpin – Space for Innovations in Agriculture” seeks to find the answers to those questions and many more by identifying best practices for innovation and support systems in European agriculture.
Strategies for organic and low-input farming to mitigate and adapt to climate change (SOLMACC) is about demonstrating that farming can be climate-friendly by applying a combination of optimised organic farming practices to respond to climate change. Across Europe, 12 demonstration farms have been selected with farmers adjusting their agriculture techniques over the course of five years under close scientific monitoring and supervision. Modelling will allow for predictions about the long-term impact on soil, biodiversity and climate to be made with the project’s results used to develop transferable approaches for other farms, be they organic or conventional.
Sustainability Training for Organic Advisors
European Education Concept and Forum for Organic Food Processors
Integration of the Quality Assurance System Eco-Qualify into EQF and ECVE