This 2020’s European Organic Congress will be celebrated online. The event is an interesting space of knowledge and debate for the professionals within the European Organic Sector, and specially useful for those who seek to increase their comprehension of the sector, its structures and its politico-legislative momentum at EU level.

12th European organic congress ifoam eu bioaustria 12è Congrés Ecològic Europeu: Salut, Ecologia, Justícia i Cura

After assessing the risks arising from the exceptional crisis arising from the COVID-19, the organizers of the Congress have opted for an online edition, exceptionally free-registering for this year, which provides an excellent opportunity for all actors across the European Organic Sector to be there, at the only event that brings together some of the most relevant players at Organic-European level, listening and interacting with experts in five sessions scheduled for 1, 2 and 3 July from 10am to 1:30pm, sessions that will discuss how it’s being shaped the future of European agriculture and food. The congress is organized by IFOAM EU.ifoam eu logo congreso ecológico europeo european organic congress IFOAM EU: Lluitant per l'adopció de sistemes ecològics, socials i econòmics a EuropaThe congress program is as follows:

July 1: New EU Organic Regulation

Congress opening session with the German Minister of Food and Agriculture, Julia Klöckner, the President of the BÖLW Association, Felix Prinz Zu Löwenstein and the President of IFOAM EU. Organic in action!

The session will feature examples on how to transform European food and agriculture towards sustainability, focusing on the New European Organic Regulation that will be applied from 1 January 2021 although there are proposals for to postpone it one more year until January 2022. Nicolas Verlet, Marian Blom, Georg Eckert and Michel Reynaud will participate, with Emanuele Busacca as moderator.

July 2: 25% of organic agricultural land by 2030. How can the CAP contribute to this?

For the second day it is planned to start with a session on how the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) should contribute to achieving the goal set in the Farm to Fork (F2F) strategy, a target of 25% of soil in organic farming for the year 2030. This session will discuss the possible interactions between the negotiations of the current CAP and the objectives of the Farm to Fork strategy. Wolfgang Burtshe, Director-General for Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Commission, will open the session in which he himself will participate, alongside Norbert Lins and Jan Plagge, President of Bioland / IFOAM EU. It will be moderated by Eduardo Cuoco, director of IFOAM EU.

Eduardo Cuoco, IFOAM EU Director. In the background, the workshop conclusions mural
Eduardo Cuoco, IFOAM EU Director, at the 2018 European Organic Congress in Vienna

After this session, the next organic action plan to promote organic farming and contribute to a more sustainable food system will be discussed. Nathalie Sauze-Vandevyver and Thomas Fertl will take part in a session moderated moderated by Peter Röhrig. The session will be structured in three groups that will discuss how organic action plans can be a powerful tool 1: to make food production resilient, 2: to balance markets in the waves of conversion to organic; and 3: to strengthen organic food value chains.

July 3: European agriculture and resilient food systems in a post-COVID-19 world

COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the relevance of farmers, processors and food workers and the need to value them better. Also, it has shown the fragility of the current food system with long production chains vulnerable to transport restrictions and market fluctuations combined with climate change.

This session will discuss how to make our local food production more resilient and more closely linked with short supply chains. There will also be a talk on how to reduce the impact of food production on biodiversity and habitat destruction and how to make livestock farming less prone to the spread of disease, from the European Commission’s Recovery Plan and the European Green Deal. Speakers will be Stella Kyriakides, Tassos Haniotis, Olivier de Schutter, Sarah Compson and Sebastian Treyer, moderated by Eric Gall.

The Congress will have a close statement by the President of IFOAM EU (to be elected on 30 June) and Felix Prinz Zu Löwenstein, President of BÖLW.

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Bio Eco Actual, Independent European Organic Press
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