On 16th June 2022, ahead of the start of the European Organic Congress 2022, the Ukrainian organic movement expressed its solidarity with Ukrainian farmers. At the opening of the congress, representatives of the Ukrainian organic movement stated that Ukraine’s recovery should not be a return to the pre-war status but a full-fledged redevelopment and integration into the European community, based on sustainable development principles and taking into account the European Green Deal.

Organic with Ukraine

Kateryna Shor, spokesperson of IFOAM Organics Europe’s Ukrainian members said: “The recovery of the Ukrainian food production system should be based on agroecological principles. We understand that food security is on the forefront both in Ukraine and the world. But the war in Ukraine demonstrates the vulnerability of intensive production and long supply chains. We could see that large livestock enterprises are not only an easy target for airstrikes and artillery, but they are also very vulnerable to power outages and supply chain disruptions. Long food chains also make food system very sensitive to possible obstacles in supply chains over long distances, bringing up production costs and increasing resource use and food’s carbon footprint. Transitioning to local and sustainable food systems can ensure a stable income for local producers, lower food’s price, its carbon footprint, improve the quality of food and improve food security on local and regional level. We are very grateful to those producers who, despite the difficult situation, continue to work organically. And we’d like to support them!”

Philippe Lassalle St-Jean, President of INTERBIO Nouvelle-Aquitaine continued: “Together with European, national and regional levels, we wanted to express our strong solidarity to the organic Ukrainian sector, to the farmers and to the companies that need help and need to produce and to harvest. The Ukrainian delegation is our guest here in Bordeaux and we do support the Organic initiative platform that gathers the fundings and the detailed requests of the organic operators from Ukraine. We think we should already be prepared for cooperation during the post-war period to maintain and develop the organic production in the country and to keep together the European targets of 25% of organic land in 2030”.

Eduardo Cuoco, IFOAM Organics Europe Director added: “The organic movement regrets and rejects calls to suspend environmental legislation and to forget about climate change and biodiversity loss because of this war. This crisis, like the pandemic before it, and others to come, should strengthen the EU’s determination to make our food system more resilient, in line with planetary boundaries and to bring our economic model back in balance with nature. Organic farming is the blueprint for an agroecological and social model of agriculture which is more independent from external inputs, resilient, fairer, healthier, knowledge-intensive and based on shorter supply chains. European countries should better support this transition to agroecology rather than seek to protect an agro-industrial model which is fragile and highly dependent on global imports and exports, fossil-fuels, and non-circular inputs.”

He continues: “The EU Farm to Fork Strategy sets the right mid- and long-term objectives to ensure food security in an uncertain and volatile world and remains the only relevant political direction to transform our food system. Shorter and better structured supply chains can reduce speculation and price volatility. Relocalisation and re-diversification of our food production system, coupled to changes in diet and decreasing intensity in animal husbandry, can reduce dependency of imports of grains and legumes for feed, as highlighted by scenarios of a transition to agroecology (see IDDRI’s Ten Years for Agroecology).”

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