European Organic Congress 2019: Most important facts
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160 participants of 21 different countries attended the European Organic Congress, organized by IFOAM EU in Bucharest, Romania, on 20-21 June. The theme of the congress was innovation and technology. Read the most important take-aways following the event:
- Representatives of the Commission, conventional agriculture, civil society and organic farming agreed that public money should go to public goods.
- Organic can improve through political support. By setting mandatory minimum expenditure of 70% for the environment and climate in each CAP Strategic Plan, organic will be able to deliver at its fullest.
- Work on the Implementing and Delegated Acts of the European Organic Regulation is in progress. The European Commission will start working on controls this year.
- Climate, climate, climate: It is urgent, but the EU's regulations do not provide the necessary speed. Climate and diversity do not allow any delay. The EU should urgently define what the funds in agriculture must achieve in addition to direct payments, said Jan Plagge, President of IFOAM EU.
- Technology such as the Internet of Things (IoT), big data analytics and artificial intelligence can work with ecology rather than control it. It is important that we can adapt technology to natural cycles and to agroecological systems. When it comes to technology, data and its ownership are key challenges.
- There are great examples of using the Internet of Things (IoT), big data analytics and artificial intelligence in (organic) agriculture. The organic movement is very engaged to thoroughly discuss social, economic, environmental, ethical, technological & political aspects of new technologies. Input collected at the Congress will feed into an IFOAM EU position paper on the matter.
- Innovation goes beyond technology. Social, management and know-how innovation play an important role in transforming food and farming. Successful communication and a transdisciplinary approach in organic are key! This showed in the examples of the Vermigrand farm, the consumer organization Bio Sud Ouest France and the organisations part of the Leading Organic Alliance.
- "We should all unite for good food at fair prices, access to land, and a better future for us all!" This is the message from IFOAM – Organic International’s short film that was officially launched at the European Organic Congress. You can see the film here: http://bit.ly/WeUnite.
Modern sensor technology integrates food transports into the Internet of Things and thus, reduces the risk of the goods spoiling on their way to their destination.
The IFOAM Congress 2018 in the Netherlands discussed about digitization and the future of the organic sector. The German Organic Entrepreneurs Association AÖL anticipates major transformation processes in retail.
In the run-up to the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit, Oliver Gothe talked to organic-market.info about the chances brought by digitalisation as well as the challenge of dealing with greenwashing by competitors from the conventional market.