IFOAM EU’s Vision 2030 agenda should be a “blueprint for working together” the organization’s president, Christoper Stopes, said today in his opening address at the European Organic Congress in Tallinn, Estonia.
He told the packed Congress hall: “At Riga we agreed the ‘road map’ that gave us the route to where we want to be in 2030, with its key strategic elements of ‘Organic on every table’, ‘Improve, inspire and deliver’ and Fair play, fair pay’.
“Our Roadmap shows how organic farming can continue to play an important role in producing quality food, creating viable business opportunities, and protecting and enhancing the environment. The organic model provides a proven path to achieving the SDGs. The Commission’s recent CAP public consultation clearly demonstrates that a new deal is needed between farmers and citizens. To capitalise on the potential of organics, the EU and national governments need to fully integrate the SDGs into all the EU’s policies, including the CAP.”
He said that that a paradigm shift in education, knowledge and learning was needed: “We need policy makers to understand the contribution of organic systems – and to back them and promote them. And it’s vital that value and power are equitably spread across the whole system. We have to show the rich diversity of organic around Europe, and around the world – and the practical real-world solutions that organic already offers.” He invited policy makers and conventional farmers to view IFOAM EU’s Vision 2030 as a “blueprint for working together”.
Touching on the subject of the first panel discussion of the day – EU agriculture funding – Stopes said: “We must break the CAP stalemate – securing farm income v. meeting public expectations. Organic is a market-led initiative that offers a real-world way through this”.
“We must break the CAP stalemate – securing farm income v. meeting public expectations. Organic is a market-led initiative that offers a real-world way through this”
In his address Stopes also urged wider uptake on the importance of organic’s “whole systems approach”. Talking later with Natural Products Global, he added: “One of the key things in this whole discussion is to recognize that whole systems created the problems we have, and whole systems are needed to resolve the problems.
“Organic is a system approach, which has many multi-functional benefits – in biodiversity, climate change, animal welfare and so on. And what we need to recognize is that if we don’t encourage systems solutions, such as organic, then individual measures will not achieve in reforming our food and farming policy.
“What I hear is many organizations arguing for specific measures to try to resolve specific problems – so we don’t end up encouraging the systems approach that we need.”