Review of events
FarmDemo: Recommendation Workshop
2 April 2019, Den Bosch, Netherlands
On 2 April 2019 IFOAM EU participated in the FarmDemo ‘Recommendation workshop’ in the Netherlands. The goal of the day was to elaborate policy recommendations for managing authorities in Member States and the EU Commission. Such recommendations should support farmers, researchers and advisers to improve on-farm demonstration activities.
FarmDemo is a collaboration of three Horizon 2020 projects aiming to enhance peer-to-peer learning among farmers. FarmDemo focuses on farm demonstration as a tool to boost innovation uptake.
4 April 2019, Novi Sad, Serbia
On 4 April 2019 IFOAM EU Director Eduardo Cuoco participated in the session on organic farming at the ANTARES annual workshop hosted by BioSense Institute in Novi Sad, Serbia. He held a speech on Organic Vision 2030 and participated in a panel discussion, together with the representatives of the association Serbia Organica and Serbian Chamber of Commerce on challenges and opportunities for development of organic farming in Europe.
BioSense, which focuses on multidisciplinary research in ICT and agriculture, presented on digital solutions for applications in organic food and farming that can improve organic farmers’ decision making, competitiveness, farm sustainability and traceability along the value chain.
IFOAM EU Director Eduardo Cuoco speaking at Antares Workshop. Photo Credit: BioSense Institute
Digital Day 2019: a declaration on ‘A smart and sustainable digital future for European agriculture and rural areas’
9 April 2019, Brussels, Belgium
On April 9 IFOAM EU took part in the high-level event Digital Day 2019 together with Member States, EU institutions and key stakeholders from civil society, industry and academia. At the event 24 countries signed a declaration of cooperation on ‘A smart and sustainable digital future for European agriculture and rural areas’. The document highlights the potential of technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence, 5G, and internet of things to address the multiple challenges facing the EU’s agri-food chain as well as rural areas.
In her opening remarks Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, stressed that the new digital technologies could be especially beneficial for organic farmers and beekeepers. Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan emphasized that the technologies should cater for the needs of small-scale family farms as well as for the large ones and the companies. It is also important to overcome a digital divide between urban and rural areas, stressed Hogan. Watch the keynote speeches and the press conference of Digital Day 2019.
Photo Credit: ec.europa.eu
Best Economy Forum: Moving to a different economic model
9-11 April 2019, Bolzano, Italy
The first edition of the Best Economy Forum brought together like-minded people from various sectors. They talked about coming to a different kind of economic model that benefits many and not few, while respecting and taking care of our home, planet Earth. IFOAM EU’s President Jan Plagge and Director Eduardo Cuoco took part and represented the European organic movement.
The first day started in the late afternoon, with opening speeches from the organizers and a brilliant keynote by Dr. Auma Obama who talked about the responsibility of acting sustainably. A round table on the vision and motivation for a new economy closed the day.
Day 2 was the most intense one, featuring an incredibly inspiring keynote by Christian Felber on the economy for the common good and two different and fruitful working sessions. The participants took part in world-cafe workshops about "ethical economy", "imagining the circular economy", "justice for the global south", "real prices for fair markets", "new forms of organisation for new forms of economy", "money with meaning" and "more than hotel". The Manifesto of the Best Economy Forum summarises the output of these workshops.
The last day begun with a start-up rally, during which 10 sustainability-focused projects had the chance to present themselves and win a price to continue their work. This was then followed by a panel reflecting on how the best economy can drive the transformation of the current economy. Dr. Vandana Shiva closed the panel with a touching and empowering keynote speech by on the vital connections between "best economy" and "best ecology".
The Forum closed with the official presentation of the Manifesto of the Best Economy Forum. It contains commitments from the participants and demands to policy makers and everyone who was present signed it.
Save the date for 20-22 April 2021 because this great experience will continue, as there is the need and the willingness to change economy for the better. The second edition of the Best Economy Forum will also take place in Bolzano, at the EURAC Centre.
IFOAM EU supported the process that led to the creation and organisation of the first edition of the Forum. The first edition of the Best Economy Forum took place at the EURAC "Center of Advanced Studies" in Bolzano, Italy. This three-day event brought together like-minded people from various sectors to talk about a different kind of economic model.
Photo Credit: Best Economy Forum