Welcome note from IFOAM EU Director, Eduardo Cuoco

Dear members,

In 2018 many climatic and political events have increased the global awareness of the urgent need to make organic agriculture part of the solution to prevent climate change and to halt the degradation of our natural resources. IFOAM EU has been actively providing input to improve and transform agriculture across Europe.

In our Vision for the future, we have set three strategic goals  to transform agriculture. One of these is ‘Organic on every table’. To make this goal a reality, the legislative framework should take organic into account. This is why we have been actively providing input to key political dossiers for organic: the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), and the organic regulation. Our work on the CAP and on the implementation of the organic regulation was reflected in various sessions at our annual  12th European Organic Congress entitled ‘Organic on every table: Added value for farmers, consumers and society’.

A great success for this year was the European Court of Justice’s decision that new gene editing techniques are indeed techniques of genetic engineering, that should be regulated as such, and that products therefrom should be considered Genetically Modified Organisms. IFOAM EU welcomes the decision and will keep on actively fight for transparency and consumers information on GMOs.

EU has also been actively working on ‘Fair play – Fair pay’, namely by closely following the legislative process on Unfair Trading Practices in the supply chain with the purpose of further strengthening it. Through our coordinated efforts – meetings and discussions with national ministries and MEPs – together with members and allies, we worked on the development of a fair and well-functioning system to tackle unfair trading practices.

Of course we also worked on research and innovation in organic – in line with our strategic goal ‘Improve – Inspire – Deliver’. This reflected in the end of one of IFOAM EU’s projects, the SOLMACC project, that demonstrated that farming can be climate-friendly. The outcome of this LIFE-funded project has been captured in several publications that were developed to inspire other practitioners throughout the six years through which the project ran.

Looking forward, IFOAM EU will continue working collaboratively with its members, with EU institutions, Member States, like-minded movements and local actors to promote the values and principles of organic production, as well as to protect the interest of future generations by moving agriculture towards sustainability. I have always been convinced that organic agriculture is one of the best tools to achieve an environmentally, economically and socially responsible agri-food system. Therefore, we need to keep on pushing for better policies supportive of the fight against global challenges of food security and environmental destruction. And this is a promise that we make for the coming year.

Wishing you happy, healthy and organic holidays!

Eduardo Cuoco

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