Welcome Note May 2023

Dear readers,

I am delighted to welcome you to the latest edition of our newsletter, filled with European organic updates.

First and foremost, I want to extend my gratitude to all the participants, speakers, and our main sponsor, Aboca, for their invaluable contributions to the success of the Organic Food Conference. Many thanks to our other sponsors of day 1 too – Green Organics, NaNa Bio, Rapunzel, Valoritalia, Suolo e Salute & Interbio Nouvelle Aquitaine– as well as to the BEING Organic in EU project, who made dinner on day 1 and the full programme on day 2 possible. We would also like to thank our event partner AssoBio. It was a remarkable event, bringing together a diverse range of attendees from the entire food chain, from organisations and companies to students and media.

Our highlights from the Organic Food Conference

At the conference, we got inspired by Christian Felber’s keynote speech on rethinking economy for the common good, engaged in stimulating discussions on crucial topics shaping the organic sector, including new challenges deriving from the need to reach the objectives of the Farm to Fork Strategy, which are driving momentum for sustainability across the entire agri-food system. To stand out, organic farming must continue to improve and to raise the bar, refusing to settle for minimum standards. Companies are more and more seeking to align their brands with sustainability, but we must remain vigilant to avoid greenwashing and ensure genuine commitment to organic principles.

To thrive in this dynamic landscape, it is crucial for the organic sector to position itself as an indispensable tool for sustainable business models. By meeting the evolving needs of conscientious consumers, we can create lasting connections and make a profound impact. True Cost Accounting, a methodology that incorporates both positive and negative costs into the pricing of products, has a great potential to effectively communicate the sustainability of a product, in full transparency. It can also help fill the price gaps between conventional and organic offerings.

Another topic was the need for acknowledgement that the organic sector operates in a polluted world, where risks of contamination persist. As such, we remain committed to researching and mitigating these risks, providing guidance and implementing proportionate control measures. Our collective efforts will not only fight fraud, but also ensure the production of wholesome organic products that prioritise the health of consumers and the environment.

Additionally, the Organic Food Conference provided the perfect platform for us to present our latest position paper on the Management of Pesticide Residues in Organic Products. This significant document explains the reality of organic production in a contaminated world, where pesticides persist. It outlines a harmonised approach to managing residue cases, in line with the strict regulations set forth by the EU Organic Regulation.

Mark September 2023 for the EU Organic Day & European Organic Congress

Looking ahead, we have a busy September coming up, with the annual EU Organic Day and EU Organic Awards (established by the European Commission in the recent EU Organic Action Plan). This year we are also organising our annual congress in September!

23 September is the annual EU Organic Day. On this special occasion, we will give visibility to our members’ initiatives. Are you organising an event connected to EU Organic Day? Please contact us at [email protected], we will give our members’ events visibility! We will also provide our members with a comprehensive communication package.

And mark your calendars for the highly anticipated EU Organic Awards ceremony on 25 September, where we will honour and recognise the best actors in organic farming and production. This event will unite us in our shared commitment to promoting excellence in organic.

But September does not end there! Get ready to immerse yourself in the vibrant world of organic as the European Organic Congress (EOC) comes to the city of Córdoba on 26-28 September. Our annual congress brings together policymakers and the organic movement to discuss what will shape organic and other sustainable agricultural practices and cultivate a greener planet for generations to come.

I invite you to join us in raising the organic flag ever higher. Together, we can champion sustainable practices, drive positive change, and create a better future for our planet and communities.

Don’t panic, the future is organic,

Eduardo Cuoco
IFOAM Organics Europe’s Director

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