Welcome note April 2020

Dear readers,

For all of us, these days are really challenging. We are facing a crisis where no one can fall back on past experiences. In these days, it is said, it is the hour of strong executive governments. It might be right; we need fast and difficult decisions – but it is also the hour of system changes. This can be our momentum to change the current model of competition, trade and values together with many citizens and entrepreneurs all over Europe. It can be the momentum of organics to change the food and farming system.

We all have to learn very quickly to stay connected and collaborate even more intensively than before. Many of us are having positive experiences with new tools and settings beyond physicals meetings. Formerly, web conferences and webinars were a tool for minorities, now they are common for almost all of us. Last week I experienced that more of our farmers and staff members are getting actively connected, because the efforts and cost of travels are not a barrier anymore. Except for occasional bad connectivity, which is still an obstacle in many regions, the opportunities to connect and collaborate intensively are growing and making Europe more organic.

So let’s use this momentum: Let’s stay connected, let’s meet and work together and let’s make system change happen.

This is why we are keeping our General Assembly and European Organic Congress on our planner. Now is our chance to involve even more people in our movement.

Concretely speaking, IFOAM EU will host its 10th General Assembly, which is the highest decision-making body of IFOAM EU, on 30 June 2020. At this biannual meeting, IFOAM EU’s membership reviews and decides on the general policy and direction of IFOAM EU. Our members will address important matters, including finance and future strategies, vote on motions and elect the next IFOAM EU Board for 2020-2022. IFOAM EU’s members will find more information about the General Assembly on the IFOAM EU member extranet.

The participation of all IFOAM EU’s members to our General Assembly is a key part of our democratic process. It gives our members the power to direct IFOAM EU’s work and ensure genuine representation.  The 10th edition of the GA will be a special one as it will take place online, giving more of our members the chance to join and be part of this important process.

At the General Assembly, my fellow Board members and me will report on the progress we made on implementing IFOAM EU’s internal strategy to achieve our Vision 2030.

Additionally, following the General Assembly, IFOAM EU and our member and co-organiser BÖLW invite you all to the European Organic Congress 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this event will also take place online.

We invite you to five different online sessions throughout 1-3 July. The European Organic Congress provides a platform where policy-makers and expert speakers will update you about the latest policy developments and discuss our vision for a post-pandemic Europe. We expect to inform you about the programme, registration, and tools we will use in May.

This 2020 edition of the European Organic Congress will also see the launch of our new website and new logo. The entire IFOAM EU office has been working hard on this and cannot wait to share the final results with you!

Organics regards,
Jan Plagge
IFOAM EU President

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