Welcome note March 2020

Dear readers,

From 17 to 20 February, the 2020 edition of BIOFACH took place in Nuremberg, Germany. With about 300 visitors at our Policy Day on the new Organic Regulation and the organisation of more than 10 sessions, it was a huge success for the organic movement. Among others, we talked about how the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) can benefit organic producers, the digitalisation of the organic food chain and the current implementation of EU law and future perspectives on new genetic engineering techniques. Also, our Science Day on ‘Horizon Europe – Innovation opportunities for organic companies’ attracted a large number of participants. Together with a representative from the European Commission they discussed how Horizon Europe can help solving challenges of organic companies related to food safety and packaging waste. Last but not least, the launch of our new mobile-responsive and interactive member extranet was another highlight. It allows our members to interact with one another and IFOAM EU, read about the latest policy developments and stay updated about our upcoming events. 

One of these events is IFOAM EU’s General Assembly on 30 June 2020 in Berlin, Germany. It will be followed by the Council meeting on 2 July 2020. For more information, visit our member extranet and register by 19 June 2020. During the General Assembly, IFOAM EU will elect its new Board for 2020 to 2022. Candidatures will be open until 15 April 2020. The Nomination Committee is working hard to ensure suitable candidates are put forward. Candidates can also be nominated by 

  • an IFOAM EU Council member
  • OR at least five IFOAM EU member organisations.

Read more and register here to candidate for the next IFOAM EU Board 2020 - 2022.

Being in Berlin already, IFOAM EU’s General Assembly will be followed by our European Organic Congress 2020, taking place from 1 to 2 July 2020. Under the title ‘Organic in action’, we will discuss an organic action plan on climate change and biodiversity as well as the reform of the CAP. We will also dedicate time to diving into the Farm to Fork strategy put forward by the European Commission. Furthermore, we will collect input on the upcoming European Organic Action Plan from congress participants. Are you interested in joining us and discussing in panel sessions and workshops with different representatives of the organic sector from all over Europe? Have a look at our congress website that is constantly updated with the latest developments.  

Besides the organisation of a range of events, we will be working on ensuring a favourable environment for organic operators within the framework of our first ‘Developing Organic’ project. Over the past few decades, pesticide use and contamination have become a major issue in the EU. In 2016, almost 400,000 tonnes of pesticides were sold in Europe, the majority used in the agricultural sector. Given the dominance of intensive agriculture that employs these substances, there is a substantial risk of contamination for farmers who do not use those substances and for the environment in general. This raises a significant problem for the organic sector, where the use of synthetic pesticides is prohibited. Read more here and help us to develop organic further by supporting our project. This would allow us to go beyond our regular work on pesticide use and contamination.

In a time of uncertainty in Europe and around the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the organic movement would like to express its solidarity with all those involved: doctors and nurses on the front line in hospitals, patients and responsible people taking great measures to prevent the massive spreading of this virus. We encourage you to proactively take personal safety measures if your country hasn't ruled so yet. Let's support our health system and protect the most vulnerable citizens.

Also during this crisis, the organic sector will make sure it remains operational to satisfy the EU citizens' demand for healthy and environmentally friendly produce.

Yours Organically,
Eduardo Cuoco

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