This week IFOAM Organics Europe has been celebrating its 20-years anniversary. Established in 2002 as the united voice of the European organic movement, it now represents more than 400,000 food operators across Europe, and a diverse and thriving organic movement across all the key EU institutions.
Jan Plagge, IFOAM Organics Europe’s president, points out: “The growth of IFOAM Organics Europe and the European organic movement is a testament that organic is more than an inspiring and pioneering production method. It is also a political tool that will help Europe face the current societal challenges – like the climate and biodiversity crises.” He elaborates: “For these last 20 years, organic operators have shown that they can produce high-quality food without synthetic fertilisers and pesticides, and with further investment in research, organic yields will continue to increase. Organic agriculture also provides solutions to adapt to changing climatic conditions and make our food production more resilient and less dependent on energy-intensive inputs. As someone with a background in organic farming myself, I am convinced that organic production is the best choice to guarantee the food supply for current and future generations.”
Eduardo Cuoco, IFOAM Organics Europe’s Director, adds: “The organic movement’s presence in Brussels has grown alongside the number of organic producers and processors in Europe over the last twenty years, and organic farming is now recognised as the leading European project to make our food system more sustainable. The 25% organic target of the Farm to Fork and Biodiversity strategies is a recognition of the benefits of organic agriculture for the environment, farmers, and consumers. Much remains to be done to make agriculture more resilient and in line with planetary boundaries, but the organic movement can be proud of what has been achieved so far for the recognition of its contribution to many European policy objectives. Consumers also trust organic, the fact that the market grew to €44.8 billion proves this.”
IFOAM Organics Europe says it “looks forward to the next 20 years of collaboration with the EU institutions and relevant stakeholders to make Europe more organic!”.
Eduardo Cuoco thanks IFOAM Organics Europe staff at this week’s 20th anniversary gathering. Photo: IFOAM Organic Europe, via social media