Welcome note June 2021 newsletter

Dear readers,

I am glad to tell you that IFOAM Organics Europe organised another successful digital edition of our European Organic Congress. The 15th edition gathered the European organic movement online and in Lisbon, Portugal.

Considering the current political developments, the Congress came just at the right time. It provided policymakers, expert speakers and (organic) stakeholders from all over Europe the opportunity to discuss organic’s contribution to reaching the EU Green Deal objectives. This year’s Congress took place from 16-18 June and was organised in collaboration with Agrobio, the Portuguese organic farming association. Together with Maria do Céu Antune, Portuguese Minister of Agriculture, I had the honour to welcome participants and speakers. During six sessions, high-level policymakers and expert panellists discussed aligning the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) with the EU Green Deal, the new EU Organic Regulation, organic’s contribution to climate change mitigation, sustainable food systems, rural development, and the organic farming sector in Portugal. High-level speakers from the European Commission, Parliament and Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union agreed that organic farming is a part of the solution to reach the EU Green Deal’s objectives and EU Farm to Fork and Biodiversity strategies’ targets. Janusz Wojciechoswski, Commissioner for Agriculture, also stressed this in his live address closing the European Organic Congress. Read our full Congress report or watch the recordings to get informed.

Our congress’ CAP session will provide you with a good background for the jumbo trilogue CAP negotiations taking place 24-25 June. As organic movement, we believe it is crucial to increase ambitions on eco-schemes, ringfencing and organic farming. To deliver a greener CAP, co-legislators must ensure the CAP Strategic Plans regulation mentions the need to develop and adequately support organic. We are developing country cards demonstrating how CAP expenditure will have to increase to reach the 25% organic land target by 2030, and will release these during our General Assembly on 29 June. Interested readers find more information on the CAP negotiations in our political hotspot.

Other political processes crucial to the organic movement taking place in the coming months are two Commission public consultations – one on new genomic techniques and another one on the seed legislation. We expect these to be released over the summer and it is crucial that the organic movement is ready to provide input to these.  We will soon update our members about these on our member extranet.

Finally, I would like to highlight some events in the months to come. From 6-10 September 2021, the Organic World Congress will take place online and in Rennes, France. As IFOAM Organics Europe, we will contribute to the Congress.

Soon after the Congress, we will have our bi-annual Organic Food Conference on 30 September-1 October, TP Organics will have its Organic Innovation Days on 30 October-1 November and we will organise IFOAM Organics Europe Meets Business on 9-10 December. We look forward to (digitally) seeing you there.

It will still be a few busy weeks for us at IFOAM Organics Europe, but I already wish everyone a healthy and happy summer and am looking forward to welcoming you back in September.

Organic regards,

Jan Plagge
IFOAM Organics Europe President

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