On 31 August and 1 September 2022, IFOAM Organics EuropeFiBL and Bio Suisse hosted the 1st edition of the Organics Europe Youth Event (OEYE). The event aimed to create a platform for young agents interested and active in the organic sector to network, discuss and develop knowledge and awareness on organic amongst youth.

OEYE
©IFOAM Organics Europe

Organic and youth met at the OEYE

Young farmer, young entrepreneurs, start-ups, students, and interested actors from the value chain gathered at the Research Institute of FiBL‘s headquarters in Frick, in the heart of Switzerland, on the occasion of the first Organics Europe Youth Event (OEYE). Two intense days, with inspiring speakers and empowering interactions that provided a platform to discuss and learn about the potential and challenges of organic production and its role as a sustainable food system.

IFOAM Organics Europe, FiBL and Bio Suisse hosted the 1st edition of the Organics Europe Youth Event

First day welcomed the participants and offered the first moderated panel discussion revolved around the role of market actors, politics and youth, in which experts from the European organic sector (Landwirtschaft mit Zukunft, Bioland, FNAB, Coop, Kündig Group) discussed transformation steps for sustainable food systems and the role of organic and youth within this development. The conference was followed by the discussion session ‘Creating ideas for the future food system’, focused on developing solutions and actions and discuss how we can contribute too tackling the problem.

Later that day, it was time for the inspirational sessions with young enterpreneurs, farmers and activists from all over Europe who pitched their innovative companies, projects and organisations in organic production. Prior to the regional and seasonal dinner, participants had the opportunity to mingle with each other and interact with the speakers at the apéro or by participating in the speed networking sessions.

OEYE 2022
©IFOAM Organics Europe

«Youth is not the future of tomorrow, it is already the future of today!»

Second day started with different workshops on several topics, such as organic organisations, animal production and ethics; organic regulation; Plant-based food; short supply chains and direct sales; organic breeding and agrobiodiversity; soil fertility; Design Thinking; and sustainable working conditions.

Two intense days, with inspiring speakers and empowering interactions

And the relationship between agroecology and philosophy was also addressed. During his keynote speech, Dr. Joe Slater (University of Glasgow) challenged the audience on the topic of moral obligation in relation to agriculture and sustainability. Meanwhile, Prof. Dr. Johanna Jacobi shared how agroecology could be one of the solutions in bringing about a transformative concept in implementing sustainable food systems.

«Youth is not the future of tomorrow, it is already the future of today!», participants celebrated. At the closing ceremony, FiBL, IFOAM and Bio Suisse directors did a wrap-up and closing remarks. But the Organics Europe Youth Event was not over for all those who decided to join one of the additional overnight excursions. Held on September 1 and 2, they focused on the role of organic agriculture in combating climate change, chances and challenges of agroforestry systems and food waste and creating circular food systems.

The first edition of the Organics Europe Youth Event concluded with success, organizers noted. OEYE next edition will be back in 2 years.

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