A more organic future: ten take-aways of the European Organic Congress 2022

© Valentin Videgrain

We were thrilled, after two years of digital events, to meet again at the 2022 European Organic Congress. Below you find our ten key take-aways from the Congress. The recordings will be available online in the coming days on our YouTube account, so those of you who could not make it can revisit the event and learn from our high-level policymakers and expert attendees.

  1. In a moving press conference, the Ukrainian organic movement talked about the impact of the war in Ukraine on organic production and the supply chain. The European organic movement expressed its solidarity with the Ukrainian organic movement, with participants giving the Ukrainian delegation a heartfelt standing ovation.
  1. Organic has a systemic approach and is part of the solution to tackle complex issues like the climate and biodiversity crises because it provides more than just food – it is good for soil and water, it provides for biodiversity, and environmental & health benefits. Many speakers stressed this point.
  1. Participants and high-level speakers from the European Commission, European Parliament and local governments agree that the 25% target of organic land by 2030 should be a guideline for the national CAP Strategic Plans.

  2. The European Commission affirmed that many EU Member States need to increase their targets for organic land and the budget tied to realise them in their national CAP Strategic Plans. We need a Common Agricultural Policy that provides public money for public goods.
  1. Consumer transparency is key in terms of environmental information. Sustainability labelling can be an opportunity for this, but the European Commission’s proposed ‘Product Environmental Footprint’ favours intensive agriculture, as it does not adequately consider externalities such as the impact on biodiversity, impact of pesticides, and animal welfare. At this stage, the Planet Score is the most complete label supporting a transition to more sustainable food systems – measuring a product’s score when it comes to pesticides, biodiversity, climate, and animal welfare.
  1. The new EU Organic Regulation applies from 1 January 2022. The European Commission announced that rules for organic salt and insects are in the pipeline. More details on the regulation are available on the Commission’s website, our website and in our regulation guidelines.

  2. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 resulted in never-seen-before sales of organic products. While the growth of organic was less impressive in 2021 compared to 2020, the overall organic market is steadily growing! Check out the latest data on the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL)’s website.
  1. During three parallel sessions, participants discussed: how the organic supply chain is resilient and should remain so in light of the recent crises; that the organic sector needs to be more active in co-creating solutions reflecting the needs of agroecological practices in light of digitalising agriculture; and that organic offers many solutions in the fight against climate change – but when it comes to carbon farming, conceptual and practical concerns need to be solved first to ensure a contribution to climate mitigation, adaptation and biodiversity protection.
  1. Around 260 participants from all over Europe and the world (hi, Japan, the United States, and Sri Lanka!) attended our first in-person Congress in two years. Frequently heard terms: CAP Strategic Plans, regeneration and youth in organic and “It’s too hot outside”.
  1. A heart-felt ‘Thank you’ to our members, speakers, participants, co-organisers, sponsors, funders, media partners and technical support! You made this Congress possible and exciting.
  1. We give you an 11th take-away for the price of 10! Did you miss the chance to take part, or do you want to relive the Congress? Watch the Congress videos (available on our YouTube channel very soon), go through our Twitter Moments, and revisit #EOC2022.

In case you attended our European Organic Congress 2022, we would like to ask you to help us improve by taking a few minutes to fill in the Congress evaluation form and give us your feedback on the programme and format of the event.

Stay tuned about the date and location of the next edition of the European Organic Congress by visiting www.europeanorganiccongress.bio and following @OrganicsEurope on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook. IFOAM Organics Europe will post updates about the Congress with #EUOrganic2030 and #EOC2022.

Feel free to contact [email protected] if you have any questions about the Congress.

Best regards, 
IFOAM Organics Europe’s team
[email protected]

IFOAM Organics Europe is the European umbrella organisation for organic food and farming. With almost 200 members in 34 European countries, our work spans the entire organic food chain and beyond: from farmers and processors organisations, retailers, certifiers, consultants, traders and researchers to environmental and consumer advocacy bodies. In 2022, IFOAM Organics Europe is turning 20, IFOAM Organics International 50 and IFOAM Asia 10. Celebrate the Year of Organics with us!

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