Welcome Note June 2024

Dear reader,  

Welcome to our last newsletter edition before the EU elections and summer break. In only a few days many of us will go out and vote for EU policymakers that will decide on environmental, agricultural and rural policies between 2024 and 2029. 

The outgoing European Commission set a clear goal to make Europe climate-neutral by 2050 – accompanied by many cross-cutting strategies to realise this. Among the most relevant to the organic sector are the Farm to Fork Strategy and the EU Biodiversity Strategy’s goals to boost our biodiversity, reduce synthetic pesticide and antibiotic use. To achieve this, it chose organic agriculture as the key tool and set a target of 25% of agricultural land under organic management by 2030. 

While hurried legislative processes at the end of this legislature endanger the EU’s environmental ambitions and threaten biosafety and consumers’ choice, it is crucial to keep in mind that we all need to act to transform our current agricultural system to one with vibrant rural areas and sustainable food systems. Read why and how the European organic movement wants to achieve this in our political hot spot

Of course, to realise this we can all do our part – as organic movement, concerned citizens and policymakers. We can go out and vote between 6 and 9 June, vote on the daily with the food we buy and keep an open ear for others’ concerns. 

As it is crucial to keep exchanging and building bridges, we keep nurturing the next generation of organic leaders. Whether it is exchanging with them at our Organic House in Brussels or building resilient futures together at the Organics Europe Youth Event in Bari, Italy, on 8-9 July, we need to keep shaping our joint future. 

Of course, we also continue strengthening the European organic movement. On 20 June our members are meeting at our annual General Assembly – the annual event where IFOAM Organics Europe’s members can provide their direct input. We invite all our members to consult the agenda and register on our member extranet.

Building a common vision for the future of organic food & agriculture happens to be the theme of our annual European Organic Congress on 10-12 September in Budapest, Hungary. At our annual flagship policy event we have invited many (newly) elected policymakers to start exchanging with them about our common future for the agrifood systems we want.  

Soon after the congress, on 23 September, we will celebrate EU Organic Day. We will soon start collecting our members’ activities to highlight innovative examples.  

  • Are you organising something? Submit your activity now (please note that we prioritise our members’ activities because we receive many examples)! 
  • Are you considering to organise something? Get inspired by last year’s activities. 

And, of course, the EU Organic Award ceremony is also taking place on 23 September. Check out the past winners of the awards! And, if you know of an excellent example, share information about the awards with them – they happen every year and applications open in March. Past applicants and nominees can reapply too! 

In these grey and often trying times, remember that what we do matters, both as individuals and movement. Remember to vote on 6-9 June and, on the daily when making your food choices. 

Don’t panic, the future is organic! 

Eduardo Cuoco, 

IFOAM Organics Europe’s Director

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