Welcome note February 2021 newsletter

Dear readers,  

On behalf of the European organic movement, I would like to welcome you back after the winter break and wish you a healthy and caring new year. About a year ago, Covid-19 has started changing our lives and I hope 2021 will bring some relief and the possibility to get together with our loved ones. 

Despite these challenging times, “the organic market is actually growing,” a trend that had been “constant for years” as stated by German Farm Minister Julie Klöckner during the virtual awards ceremony of the Federal Organic Farming Competition. At the same time, she called for greater promotion for the sector. In this respect, the European Commission’s promotion policy work programme is a very concrete first step to better promoting the benefits of organic and reaching the 25% target of organic land in Europe by 2030. As IFOAM Organics Europe, we will do our best to make sure the organic sector fully uses this important opportunity. 

As organisation and movement, we are looking forward to some important political developments, such as the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). This Commission’s proposed text is currently being negotiated by the three institutions in the so-called ‘trilogue negotiations’. As organic movement, we insist that the negotiators include the Farm to Fork and Biodiversity strategies’ targets as an integral part of the next CAP. Otherwise, it will be impossible to achieve the EU Green Deal and avoid the climate crisis. 

We are also looking forward to the new European Organic Action Plan (OAP)’s presentation, expected in spring 2021. A comprehensive and well-designed European OAP could greatly contribute to the sector’s development and reaching the target of 25% organic land in the EU by 2030. Have a look at the organic movement’s ten priorities to boost both organic demand and production through the OAP

We are also preparing for two Commission studies – one on new genetic engineering techniques and another one on the options to reform the seeds marketing rules. The study on new GMOs could be crucial in ensuring a GMO-free organic production process. The Commission’s study on the options to reform the seeds marketing rules could be an opportunity to enhance the use of organic seeds in European agriculture. We will keep you, our members, informed with timely updates on our member extranet.  

Of course, non-members can also follow our activities on these. As usual, we will be exhibiting at the BIOFACH/Vivaness e-special and are organising timely political sessions at BIOFACH. Our Policy Day on “25% European land in organic by 2030” will take place on 17 February 11:00-12:45 CET. On top of that, we will organise sessions on the EU regulatory changes and its effect on international trade and the future of certification in organics. Also important to note in your planner are TP Organics’ Science Day and the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL)’s launch of ‘The World of Organic Agriculture’, featuring comprehensive data on organic production and retail in Europe. 

Later on in 2021, you will hear more from us about our European Organic Congress, the Organic Food Conference (formerly the ‘Organic Processing Conference’), IFOAM Organics Europe meets business and our participation in IFOAM – Organics International’s Organic World Congress.  

Also, two projects we are leading are coming to an end: OK-Net EcoFeed and LIVESEED. Over the past years, we coordinated these multi-actor projects, aiming at 100% organic feed in pig and poultry and greater use of organic seeds. The IoF2020 and XF-Actors, in which we are representing the organic movement, will also end in the coming months. Are you interested in these project’s final events? Keep an eye on our events calendar

Finally, I would like to inform you that the IFOAM Organics Europe staff will keep working from home in the coming months. I would like to thank them and you all for contributing to making Europe more organic – from the fields, plants, or your homes! As IFOAM Organics Europe, we will continue bringing the organic community together –digitally or in person.  

Organic regards,  

Jan Plagge 
IFOAM Organics Europe President

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