The European Organic Congress, which takes place on 1-3 July 2020 as a digital event this year, will bring together farmers, industry experts and policy makers at a pivotal moment for food and farming in Europe. 

Taking place soon after the announcement of the EU’s landmark Farm to Fork strategy and its ambitious targets for organic, the high level three-day event also comes amid an urgent debate on food quality and planetary boundaries triggered by the Covid-19 experience. 

European Organic Congress 2020, IFOAM EU and the German Association of Organic Farmers, Food Processors and Retailers (BÖLW), congress will provide a platform for policy-makers and expert speakers to talk about the latest policy developments relevant for organic and discuss the organic movement’s vision for a post-pandemic Europe.

Every edition of the European Organic Congress is organised together with the flagship organic umbrella organisation from the country holding the Presidency – this year, Germany will take over over the presidency of the Council of the European Union on 1 July, hence joint organisation with BÖLW. Given 2020’s exceptional circumstances, this year’s event takes place online.

Key topics for the European organic movement in 2020 are the Farm to Fork Strategy, the Biodiversity Strategy, the Common Agricultural Policy, an EU Organic Action Plan, the future of our food systems in a post-Covid-19 Europe and, of course, the EU Organic Regulation.

Five sessions – five topics

Welcome & Organic in Action – get inspired!
1 July 2020, 10:00-11:00

The first session, taking place from 10:00 to 11:00 welcomes you at the EOC and features six speakers. Julia Klöckner, German Minister for Food and Agriculture, who holds the first day of the European Presidency is one of those who will welcome you! Following the welcome, three speakers will pitch their inspiring initiatives that are already making Europe more organic in pecha kucha style.

New EU Organic Regulation: Are you ready for it?
1 July 2020, 11:30-13:00

Would you like to learn more about the main regulatory changes expected in the new EU Organic Regulation? Join this session from 11:30 to 13:00 and listen to our panel discussion with Nicolas Verlet, Head of the Organics Unit of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development, as well as two speeches on control and imports – two hot topics for the organic sector.

25% Organic land by 2030: How can the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) contribute?

2 July 2020, 10:00-11:30
Wolfgang Burtscher, the European Commission’s Director General for Agriculture and Rural Development opens this session. Together with Rainer Gießübel, representative of the German Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the EU Presidency, and Norbert Lins, Member of the European Parliament and chair of the European Parliament’s Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, we will discuss the possibilities for integrating the organic target laid out in the recently published Farm to Fork strategy into the new CAP. Join this morning session from 10:00 to 11:30 and learn how we can ensure that the European Green Deal’s ambitions will be reflected in the new CAP.

Organic in Action: The power of a good plan
2 July 2020, 12:00-13:30

The second session on day 2, from 12:00 to 13:30, will be dedicated to a new Organic Action Plan. Nathalie Sauze- Vandevyver, Director “Quality, Research & Innovation, Outreach” at the European Commission’s Directorate- General for Agriculture and Rural Development, and Thomas Fertl, Head of Agricultural Policy and International Relations at Bio Austria, will introduce the sessions. After, we will discuss in three break-out sessions how a new Organic Action Plan can develop a real push to the 25% – for resilient farming, strong organic value chains and a growing demand.

European agriculture and resilient food systems in a post-Covid-19 world
3 July 2020, 10:00-11:30

This year’s congress will end with a look into the future. Together with Olivier de Schutter, co-chair of IPES-Food, Thomas Waitz, Member of the European Parliament, and other high-level experts and policy-makers, we will talk about the lessons learnt, how European agriculture should evolve after the crisis and what policy-makers could do.

For more information about the congress in general and the sessions visit the European Organic Congress website or the event pages of IFOAM EU (EN) and BÖLW (DE).