On September 10th IFOAM has inaugurated in Bari, Italy, the 8th European Organic Congress, focused on the innovative ecological solution for farmers and rural communities. During the three days Congress, European organic sector stakeholders met policymakers and decision makers from the Italian EU Presidency, the European Commission, and Parliament to discuss the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for EU organic food and farming.
The Congress aimed at fostering the discussion on the central challenges for the sector, namely, the new Rural Development Programmes, the European Innovation Partnership for Agriculture and the Organic Regulation Review.
In view of the launch of the new Rural Development Programmes in 2015, IFOAM EU brought the attention on the need to articulate ideas how to use the new programmes, to stimulate greater delivery of public goods and green job creation. Moreover opportunities and perspectives of the European Innovation Partnership for Agriculture (EIP-AGRI) where discussed, evaluating how to bring together rural development, farming and research.
Finally, the Congress created the space for debate between stakeholders and policy makers about the process of revision of the organic regulation. All the institutional actors of the co-decision process intervened, discussing how the new Regulation can help to make Europe more organic and drive innovation in sustainable food production. The revision of the organic regulation is at the top of Italian Presidency agenda. Italian Agriculture Minister expressed his commitment to elaborate a consolidate position defining some common pillars for the development of organic agriculture in Europe before the end of the semester.
At the following link you can find Congress proceeding and material: http://organic-congress-ifoameu.org/en/media/