Review of events
The BIOFRUITNET project has launched a series of webinars to boost innovation in the European organic fruit production. The first event was held on the 3rd December 2020, during which BIOFRUITNET experts presented the latest solutions applicable to the EU organic citrus, stone and pome fruit crops.
Vincenzo Verrastro (CIHEAM-IAMB) proposed the use of sweet orange essential oil or plant extracts as a valid alternative to the contentious use of mineral oil for pest control management in citrus. Concerning organic pome management, Markus Kelderer (Laimburg) synthesised the most efficient agronomic measures to overcome the Sooty mold, a major challenge for organic apple growers. Finally, Michael Friedli (FIBL) showed promising results in regulating the black cherry aphid (Myzus cerasi) in organic table cherry production.
About 100 participants from different European countries joined the discussion The first part this series of webinars was a perfect opportunity to share and expand knowledge in organic fruit production where the solutions are often either only locally known or only available in the scientific sphere. BIOFRUITNET is planning further future webinars to keep boosting innovation and facilitating knowledge sharing among the European organic fruit growers.
BIOFRUITNET has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No 862850. This communication only reflects the author’s view. The Research Executive Agency is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information provided.
Associations of processors and traders, as well as processing and trading companies, came together on 7 December for the second annual general meeting of IFOAM Organics Europe’s Interest Group of Organic Processors and Traders (IGOP).
Participants discussed the IGOP’s priorities for 2021, which include anticipating and discussing issues related to the revision of the EU Organic Regulation, regular exchanges about organic market development in IGOP members’ respective countries as well as developing a position on substantiating claims and the product environmental footprint (PEF).
Participants also talked about what organic processing means and which direction should be taken in this respect. For example, should organic be as natural as possible or should it try to mimic conventional products only with organic ingredients. Finally, participants discussed the product environmental footprint (PEF).
About our IGOP
IFOAM Organics Europe’s Interest Group of Organic Processors and Traders (IGOP) is one of IFOAM Organics Europe’s four interest groups. Our interest groups provide direct input from the different sectors in IFOAM Organics Europe’s organisation. They formulate policies and positions relevant to their sector.
Are you an IFOAM Organics Europe member who is:
– Active in processing and/or trade interested to become part of the IGOP? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org;
– Having issues accessing the member extranet? Contact email@example.com.
On 8-9 December 2020, 80 participants, from all walks of the organic supply chain and beyond, joined the 3rd edition of IFOAM Organics meets business. This event focuses on exchanging knowledge and experiences on political and sectorial developments, their impacts on the organic value chain, as well as the changes that the sector will be confronted with after the entry into force of the new EU Organic Regulation.
Interesting and inspiring sessions as well as a smooth progression from the technical point of view resulted in a successful event!
The full agenda can be consulted on our website. Below a summary of the event.
Attendees of IFOAM Organics Europe meets business can watch recordings of the event on Hubilo until 9 January 2021. To do so, they can click the login link, go to the agenda item they would like to watch and click ‘Watch now’. We will make the recordings available to IFOAM Organics Europe members on the member extranet in the coming weeks.
8 December – Political Day: Farm to Fork strategy, the organic market and Brexit
The event kicked off with welcoming words by Eduardo Cuoco, IFOAM Organics Europe Director. This introductory session was followed by a session on the role that organic can play in transitioning towards more sustainable food systems, especially in the light of the Farm to Fork (F2F) and the EU biodiversity strategies. The exchange between Alexander Beck (AöL), Charles Pernin (Synabio) and Silvia Schmidt (IFOAM Organics Europe) highlighted that the F2F ambitions are currently not integrated enough into EU agri-food policies. The speakers proposed solutions like more sustainable and organic green public procurement, revealing the true cost of food and modernizing eating habits to reach the 25% target of organic land by 2030.
After a virtual networking coffee break using thematic tables, participants gained insights into organic market developments. Linked to this, representatives of different parts of the supply chain provided their ideas on how to reach 25% organic land. The speakers were representatives of IFOAM Organics Europe’s Interest Groups: Kurt Sannen (Bolhuis) represented farmers, Sarah Compson (Soil Association) processors & traders, and Lukas Nossol (Dennree) retailers. They highlighted the importance of being a value-driven movement, the need for financial incentives and a strong coordination across the sector to further develop the market.
As Brexit talks were high on the agenda, the event featured a session on Brexit. Thomas Parry-Jones, Head of Agriculture, UK mission to the EU and Lee Holdstock (Soil Association) gave a state of play of the effects of Brexit on trade on organic products, and replied to questions about the possibility of an equivalency agreement still being in reach between the EU and the UK.
9 December – Technical Day: The EU Organic Regulation, trade & control and integrity of the supply chain
The second day started with a session on the new EU Organic Regulation by Emanuele Busacca (IFOAM Organics Europe), Johanna Stumpner (AöL) and Michel Reynaud (Ecocert, board member of IFOAM Organics Europe). The speakers addressed the legislative process, flavourings, cleaning and disinfection.
The session on the new organic regulation was followed by two discussion tables to interactively explore policies related to organic in an. One of the discussion tables focused on ‘International trade & control and certification’ where participants exchanged with speakers Michel Reynaud (Ecocert) and Emanuele Busacca (IFOAM Organics Europe) on how to improve supply chain and import integrity.
The second discussion table covered food & labelling rules. Participants engaged with Roberto Pinton (Assobio) and Alexander Beck (AöL) about animal welfare labelling, the NutriScore and more.
The day ended with an update on ‘Developing Organic: Pesticide use and contamination’ the project led by IFOAM Organics Europe by Marian Blom (Bionext and IFOAM Organics Europe Vice-President) and a wrap-up by our Director, Eduardo Cuoco.
Attendees of IFOAM Organics Europe meets business can watch recordings of the event on Hubilo until 9 January 2021. To do so, they can click the login link, go to the agenda item they would like to watch and click ‘Watch now’.
If you have any feedback regarding the event, we are eager to hear it! Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for content-related issues, or email@example.com for technical-related issues.
This event is co-financed by the LIFE programme of the European Union, under the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME). The sole responsibility for this event lies with IFOAM Organics Europe. EASME is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information provided
On 15 December, 30 members of IFOAM Organics Europe’s Interest Group on Certification and Integrity (IGOC) met online for their second annual meeting.
The online general meeting was divided into two parts. In the first part, the IGOC steering committee (SC) provided detailed presentations of ongoing work on integrity of the organic supply chain and the future of certification.
The second part was based on IFOAM Organics Europe’s survey results on non-physical verification of compliance. In three parallel workshops, participants:
– Exchanged about relevant digital tools for non-physical verification of compliance and their purposes;
– Listed non-physical verification of compliance’s main challenges and proposed solutions – based on participants’ experiences;
– Discussed the minimum requirements of verification of compliance to overcome current and future challenges.
For further information on this meeting, please do not hesitate to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Do note that we prioritise members’ requests.
About our IGOC
IFOAM Organics Europe’s Interest Group Certification and Integrity (IGOC) is one of IFOAM Organics Europe’s four interest groups. Our interest groups provide direct input from the different sectors in IFOAM Organics Europe’s organisation. They formulate policies and positions relevant to their sector.
Are you an IFOAM Organics Europe member who:
– Has certification activities or are relevant actors in the integrity of the organic supply chain? Contact email@example.com
– Is having issues accessing the member extranet? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
On 12-14 January 2021, the Horizon 2020 EUREKA project’s winter consortium meeting took place. This project will boost the EU’s agricultural knowledge base by connecting all multi-actor projects. To achieve this, EUREKA will use a new, centralized, open-source knowledge reservoir tentatively titled ‘FarmBook’. IFOAM Organics Europe is a project partner and engaging the organic sector in the FarmBook’s development, making sure the new platform meets the organic actor’s needs.
Developing an organic persona for the FarmBook
Well-developed personas will form the basis of the development of both the FarmBook and communication strategies. On 19-20 January, the project partners developed expert workshops to validate the created personas. IFOAM Organics Europe featured organic farmer persona Marta, part of the early majority of innovators. She likes to network and is innovative, communicative and passionate, believing in what she does. In terms of finding information, easy access to subsidies is crucial for her.
Report back: Work on the FarmBook
During the meeting, the participants presented progress in the different Work Packages and the future FarmBook’s prototype. To match this new e-platform with end users’ needs, farmers, foresters, advisors, policymakers etc., the project developed personas, each covering a scope of needs. The participants, including experts from the organic sector, also presented the outcomes of the expert workshop in December to validate the knowledge objects from all multi-actor projects that were collected and analysed in Work Package 1.
While farmers value demonstrations and audio/video material most, they also cited networks, a database with expert contacts (advisors) and farmers interested in research projects, subsidies and market information as well as government policies (information about legislation, regulations and funds) as important.
Another recurrent suggestion regarding the FarmBook was ‘organic’. There will be an option to filter the search results according to ‘systems’ (for each sector). The question of governance of the future FarmBook was addressed as well. The focus will be on self-sustenance through uptake by the community. IFOAM Organics Europe will play an active part in reaching out to organic farmers as a relevant ‘EUREKA archetype’, that is, a group of end users for dissemination and exploitation.
What is next?
At the end of March/beginning of April, user tests will take place to ensure information on the platform can be found easily.
Interested? Contact email@example.com, service designer at Leap Forward & EUREKA partner.
EUREKA has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 862790. This communication only reflects the author’s view. The Research Executive Agency is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information provided.
FoodSHIFT2030 presented a webinar on the role of urban and peri-urban agriculture in city food systems and how they face crisis such as climate change and Covid19. Three initiatives presented their contributions.
Starting off, FoodSHIFT2030’s Avignon Lab stressed their objective to reduce food waste in uniting public canteens, a butcher apprenticeship school, and local meat producers through the AGRILOCAL online platform. In a nutshell, local meat producers sell their production to the butcher school to train the butcher students, and afterwards, the meat is given to 37 public canteens to ensure the preparation of their 650,000 annual meals. Their goal is to supply the public canteens with 20% local products and 38% organic ones. Learn more about their initiative by reading our previous article.
In Barcelona, the 2021 world capital of sustainable food, FoodSHIFT2030’s Barcelona Lab puts urban agriculture and technical innovation forward as solutions. The Barcelona Lab created over 120 urban gardens and the FabCare Challenge App to help citizens find information about sustainable food and nutrition. They also manage ROMI-Robotics for Micro-Farms, which sets up a series of technological tools to help micro-farms (<0.1-0.5 ha) be more efficient and competitive to face large industrial farms. They dedicate a lot of research to find solutions to minimize energy and water consumption, and make the system more economically viable.
Finally, Edible Garden City’s Director explained that Singapore faces a lack of space to produce food, as only 1% of land is allocated to farming (for 5.6M inhabitants) against 25% in the 1960-1970’s (for 1.6M inhabitants). 90% of the food consumed is imported from abroad, which puts the country in a situation of food insecurity. To face this, as well as the land degradation and biodiversity loss, the city launched an urban redevelopment plan including over 220 pesticide-free urban rooftop gardens managed by local communities.
Learn more about all these initiatives by watching the webinar.
FoodSHIFT2030 is a Horizon 2020 project promoting food systems innovations in nine cities across Europe. More information about the nine FoodSHIFT Labs is available on the FoodSHIFT2030 website. Follow the project on social media using @FoodSHIFT2030 on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn.
IFOAM Organics Europe contributes to the conceptual framework for further development of governance strategies and food policy strategies. We will also disseminate project outputs within the organic network and at our main events.
FoodShift2030 has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement number 862716. This communication only reflects the author’s view. The Research Executive Agency is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information provided.
Organic farmers strive to feed their animals with feed produced at or near the farm while ensuring animal well-being. In a joint conference, four research projects, OK-Net EcoFeed, PPILOW, FreeBirds and POWER, presented solutions helping farms to implement these objectives in practice.
Bram Moeskops, IFOAM Organics Europe, coordinator of OK-Net EcoFeed said “Adopting a multi-actor approach, all four projects worked with farmers, advisers and researchers to improve animal welfare, identify sustainable feed sources and improve ration-planning for organic pigs and poultry.”
Anne Collin, INRAE, coordinator of PPILOW explained that PPILOW “Evaluates animal welfare according to the One Welfare concept.” Anne elaborated “This concept considers animal welfare, economic, environmental, and social impacts including human well-being. The one welfare concept recognises that animal welfare, biodiversity and the environment are interconnected.”
Stefan Gunnarsson, SLU, coordinator of FreeBirds added that “Keeping layers and broiler chickens outdoor promotes bird welfare and health. Yet, outdoor production comes with challenges such as sanitary threats or predator pressure. Researchers and practitioners need to work together to find solutions.”
Anne Grete Kongsted, Aarhus University, coordinator of POWER elaborated that the POWER project is looking for solutions in pig production: “We look for practical solutions in the most prevalent organic pig production systems and we evaluate new practices developed by creative farmers across Europe.”
The conference showed access to knowledge is crucial for farmers wanting to improve their practices. That is why Organic Farm Knowledge was created. This online platform hosts a wide range of tools and resources, including almost 100 tools in the theme animal husbandry. The ration-planning tool developed within the OK-Net EcoFeed project is an example of such a tool. It allows calculating a balanced ration based on the composition of organic feedstuffs and the nutritional needs of slow-growing breeds.
Bram Moeskops, Research & Innovation Manager, IFOAM Organics Europe
OK-Net EcoFeed has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 773911. This communication only reflects the author’s view. The Research Executive Agency is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information provided.