Review of events

Organic Food Iberia
6-7 June 2019, Madrid, Spain

IFOAM EU was an official partner of the first edition of Organic Food Iberia. IFOAM EU Director Eduardo Cuoco gave a keynote speech on the latest developments in organic food and farming worldwide at the well-attended opening day. He presented IFOAM EU's vision and roadmap for the future of European agriculture as well as the work that is currently being done to achieve the objective of "Making Europe More Organic". Julia Lernoud from the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) provided an overview of the latest statistics on organic in Europe taken from FiBL's yearly publication "The World of Organic Agriculture".

The fair also offered a great opportunity to network and have in-person meetings. On the first day, Eduardo Cuoco attended a technical meeting with some of IFOAM EU's Spanish members, Ecovalia, SEAE and CCPAE, to discuss strategies for the achievement of the agroecological transition.

Curious to see how Organic Food Iberia was like? Scroll through the official photo gallery!

The first edition of Organic Food Iberia, Spain's newest international trade show, took place at IFEMA exhibition centre in Madrid on 6-7 June 2019. The successful launch featured 500 exhibiting companies and pavilions and attracted thousands of specialist retailers, supermarket and foodservice buyers, distributors, wholesalers, importers and exporters.

IFOAM EU Director Eduardo Cuoco meets Spanish members Ecovalia, SEAE and CCPAE during the first edition of Organic Food Iberia in Madrid. © Evelyne Alcazar Marin, Ecovalia

 

Policy workshop at the meeting of IFOAM EU’s Interest Group of Organic Farmers
11-13 June 2019, Kutná Hora, Czechia

The spring edition of the Farmers Interest Group meeting took place in the heart of Czechia, in Kutná Hora. IFOAM EU’s farmers group discussed, among others, the possible design of the new Eco-Schemes in the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) proposal post-2020, the secondary legislation of the new organic regulation, and the opportunities and risks of emerging technologies and digitalisation for organic farmers.

Prior to the meeting the farmers visited a Demeter-certified wine grower and a 600ha mixed organic farm. The farm raises pigs and has an on-farm slaughter facility, a biogas plant, hemp and cereal production as a diverse set of sources of income. Furthermore, there was a workshop for Czech farmers and representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture to exchange about the most important changes in the new organic regulation and the CAP Strategic Plans for the CAP post-2020.

If you want to take part in the IFOAM EU farmers group and if you have questions about the discussed topics, please contact isabella.lang [at] ifoam-eu.org (isabella.lang [at] ifoam-eu.org).

IFOAM EU's Interest Group of Organic Farmers meeting in Kutná Hora, Czechia. © Isabella Lang

IFOAM EU's Interest Group of Organic Farmers visiting a biogas plant. © Isabella Lang

Emanuele Busacca discussing the new organic regulation during policy workshop. © Isabella Lang

This event is co-financed by the European Union, under the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME). The sole responsibility for this communication lies with IFOAM EU. The EASME is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information provided.

 

 

Ten take-aways following the European Organic Congress 2019
Innovation and technology – How organic improves, inspires & delivers

  1. Representatives of the Commission, conventional agriculture, civil society and organic farming agreed that public money should go to public goods.
  2. Organic can improve through political support. By setting mandatory minimum expenditure of 70% for the environment and climate in each CAP Strategic Plan, organic will be able to deliver at its fullest. .
  3. Work on the Implementing and Delegated Acts of the European Organic Regulation is in progress. The European Commission will start working on controls this year.
  4. Technology such as the Internet of Things (IoT), big data analytics and artificial intelligence can work with ecology rather than control it. It is important that we can adapt technology to natural cycles and to agroecological systems. When it comes to technology, data and its ownership are key challenges.
  5. There are great examples of using the Internet of Things (IoT), big data analytics and artificial intelligence in (organic) agriculture. The organic movement is very engaged to thoroughly discuss social, economic, environmental, ethical, technological & political aspects of new technologies. Input collected at the Congress will feed into an IFOAM EU position paper on the matter.
  6. Innovation goes beyond technology. Social, management and know-how innovation play an important role in transforming food and farming. Successful communication and a transdisciplinary approach in organic are key! This showed in the examples of the Vermigrand farm, the consumer organization Bio Sud Ouest France and the organisations part of the Leading Organic Alliance.
  7. We should all unite for good food at fair prices, access to land, and a better future for us all! This is the message from IFOAM – Organic International’s short film that was officially launched at the European Organic Congress http://bit.ly/WeUnite.
  8. 160 participants of 21 different countries attended the Congress
  9. Do you want to relive the Congress? Read through the Twitter Moments and have a look at the gallery on Facebook.
  10. Thank you to our co-organisers, sponsors & media partners. You made the Congress possible!

We will update you about the date and location of the next edition of the European Organic Congress soon. Keep an eye on organic-congress-ifoameu.org and @IFOAMEU on Twitter and Facebook. We post updates about the congress with #EUorganic2030 and #EOC2020.

For questions or other inquiries, please contact congress [at] ifoam-eu.org (congress [at] ifoam-eu.org) and +32 (0) 2 416 52 31.

Best regards,
The Congress Team
congress [at] ifoam-eu.org
organic-congress-ifoameu.org
#EUorganic2030 #MakingEuropeMoreOrganic

https://my.ifoam-eu.org/sites/default/files/civicrm/persist/contribute/images/Mailing-sponsors%284%29.png

This event is co-financed by the European Union, under the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME). The sole responsibility for this communication lies with IFOAM EU. The EASME is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information provided.

 

 

Exploring the benefits of intercropping for more resilient arable systems at the second annual meeting of the ReMIX project
27 to 29 May 2019, Pamplona, Spain

The second annual meeting of the ReMIX project took place in Pamplona, Spain, according to a multi-actor approach. Participants shared project results and visited a field experiment run by INTIA, the farm advisory service of Navarra. The experiment tests different combinations of bread-quality wheat and soybean or lentils. Participants could observe the four mechanisms of interaction between intercropped plants – cooperation, competition, complementarity and compensation – in the field.

Participants also assessed the impact of intercropping on diseases. It seems that wheat suffers less from yellow rust when intercropped with lentils or soybean compared to wheat in sole stands. Participants also discussed the challenges of harvesting and separating intercropped cereals and grain legumes. Combinations that are easy to harvest are often difficult to separate, while combinations that are easy to separate are difficult to harvest. Increased efficiency in grain separation comes with higher costs, so the farmer needs to find a method which is cost-efficient too.

Implementing intercropping is not only a matter of agronomic and technological challenges. Farmers willing to try intercropping face marketing challenges and policy-makers do not know what policies best support them. Three actors discussed with participants what authorities can do to support intercropping: the coordinator of the Organic Action Plan of the Navarra region (Jokin Resano), the responsible person for the food policy of municipality of Pamplona (Monica Carcar) and the Transfer Manager at INTIA advising the Spanish government on its protein crop strategy (Alberto Lafarga). Participants concluded that policy-makers need more scientific evidence on the benefits and problems associated with intercropping and actors across the supply chain need to cooperate better. Participants also noted that challenges are very similar in European countries, so an EU-wide strategy for intercropping is necessary.

ReMIX is a Horizon 2020 project that explores the benefits of intercropping to design more diversified and resilient arable systems. IFOAM EU is responsible for the Practice Abstracts in the ReMIX project. Practice Abstracts provide concise practical information for farmers, advisers and other actors. The first Practice Abstracts of ReMIX will be ready in spring 2020. They will be available on Organic Farm Knowledge. This platform provides access to a wide range of tools that can help improve organic production.

Visit of field experiment of intercropping of wheat and lentils/soybeans run by INTIA (Navarra, Spain). © Bram Moeskops

 

ReMIX is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement No. 727217. The information provided reflects the view of the authors. The Research Executive Agency is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information provided.

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