PRESS RELEASE: Jan Plagge re-elected President of IFOAM Organics Europe (and a rebranding for IFOAM EU)

BRUSSELS, 30 JUNE 2020 – At its 10th General Assembly, IFOAM Organics Europe’s members elected a new Board. They re-elected Jan Plagge as President. He is the President of Bioland e.V. (Germany and North Italy) and has many years of experience developing the organic sector. He has a background as an organic farmer and organic farm advisor. 

Following his re-election, IFOAM Organics Europe’s President Jan Plagge said: “I am honoured to be re-elected President of the European organic movement at a time when the European Union set itself a target of 25% organic land by 2030 through an ambitious Farm to Fork strategy, putting organic at the heart of a transition to sustainable and fair food systems. This is a clear recognition of the benefits of the organic food and farm system for society and our planet. But much remains to be done and we have no time to waste to make the European food system and agriculture more resilient. IFOAM Organics Europe particularly expect the German Presidency to achieve an ambitious Council position on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), so that the policy gives a clear perspective to farmers and society as a whole on how it will contribute to public goods.” 

The re-elected President added “I am also proud to unveil IFOAM EU’s rebranding. From now on, we will be IFOAM Organics Europe. I believe this better represents who we are to the European institutions. Our updated logo and new website reinforce this.” 

Marian Blom, re-elected Vice-President and Knowledge & Innovation Project Leader at Bionext, said: “Actions from all actors of the supply chain are key to build a fair and sustainable food system. We will work with organic farmers, processors, retailers, certifiers, researchers and consumers to further increase the contribution of organic food and farming to a sustainable Europe. I am proud that IFOAM Organics Europe represents them all, ensuring the organic movement speaks with one voice in Brussels. Our new brand is clearer, and shows better how we are connected to IFOAM Organics International, the global umbrella organisation for organic food and farming.” 

Dora Drexler, newly elected Vice-President and Director of ÖMKI , the Hungarian Research Institute of Organic Agriculture, stated: “A major task to reach the targets of the Farm to Fork and Biodiversity Strategies is to re-enforce the EU research efforts dedicated to agroecological approaches, to increase knowledge exchange and ensure that farmers will be able to access technical advice on how to improve their practices.” 


Special information 

  • Our social media handles will change to @OrganicsEurope instead of @IFOAMEU; 
  • As of 15 July, our email addresses will change. They will be ending on @organicseurope.bio instead of @ifoam-eu.org. Please remember to adjust it in your address book and visit our new website on www.organicseurope.bio

For more information please contact: 
Eva Berckmans, Communications Officer 
+32 (0)2 416 52 32, [email protected] 
Visit www.organicseurope.bio  
Follow @OrganicsEurope on Twitter & Facebook 

Background information 

Jan Plagge is the President of Bioland e.V. and has many years of experience developing the organic sector. Jan has a background as an organic farmer and an organic farm advisor. He already served as IFOAM Organics Europe President for one term (2018-2020). 

The Vice Presidents of the Board are Marian Blom, Knowledge & Innovation Project Leader at Bionext, the Dutch umbrella organisation for organic food and farming and Dora Drexler, Director of ÖMKI, the Hungarian Research Institute of Organic Agriculture . 

The sector representatives are: 

  • Sector representative for farming: Thomas Fertl, Head of Department Agricultural Policy at BIO AUSTRIA; 
  • Sector representative for processing / trade: Roberto Pinton, Secretary General at AssoBio; 
  • Sector representative for certification: Michel Reynaud, Vice-President of ECOCERT SA; 
  • Sector representative for retail: Lukas Nossol, Representative of Dennree Gruppe GmbH. 

The other Board members that were elected are: 

  • Christopher Atkinson, Head of Standards at Soil Association; 
  • Aira Sevon, Council Member of Southern Finland Organic Farmers Association and Member of the Board of Directors of Kymi Organic Coop. 

IFOAM Organics Europe (previously IFOAM EU) represents more than 200 member organisations in the EU-28, the EU accession countries and EFTA. Member organisations span the entire organic food chain and beyond: from farmers and processors organisations, retailers, certifiers, consultants, traders and researchers to environmental and consumer advocacy bodies. 

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