The IFOAM EU Group, in cooperation with the Lithuanian EU Council Presidency and the organic sector in Lithuania, have announced the 7th European Organic Congress in Vilnius, Lithuania, 2-4 July 2013.
Shaping Europe’s Organic Future Together: Making an impact on the EU organic legal framework within the future CAP
2013 will be a key year for organic farming. The European Commission launched review of the European legal and political framework. It may submit a legal proposal to amend regulation 834/2007 to the European Parliament and Council at the end of 2013. The EU organic action plan from 2004 may also be updated. Together with the reform of the CAP, this will define a new political framework for organic farming in the EU.
With 250 participants expected, including high-level speakers from the European Commission, the European Parliament and the European organic sector, the 7th European Organic Congress will take place at a crucial point in time for the review of the European Organic Regulation and for the debate on the future Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
Contribute to the process: Your input at this congress will be used to feed into the IFOAM EU proposals provided to the Commission. Gathering opinions from and mobilising the European organic sector is thus the focus of the 7th European Organic Congress.
Registration is open. For more information please visit the congress website www.organic-congress-ifoameu.org.
Operators subject to the organic control system accept that control authorities and control bodies shall exchange information to safeguard the system. They also accept to inform control bodies and competent authorities whenever their products or products received by subcontractors and other operators are not in line with the requirements of the EU Regulations for organic production. Whenver an operator leaves a control body for another one, his “control file” is also transmitted to the subsequent control body. Control files are kept for at least 5 years after an operator withdraws from the control system.
All control bodies in the European Union shall schedule their annual controls based on a documented risk analysis, involving all operations under their control scheme. The controls shall cover at least a 10% of the total number of operators for each control body.
Control Bodies are obligated to carry out samplings and laboratory analyses for the use of non-permitted substances for organic farming. Laboratory analyses shall correspond to at least 5% of the total number of operators for each control body. Besides the 5% that is based on a risk based program, control bodies shall also take samples for analysis whenever there is reason to believe that a not authorized technique or substance has been applied to organic products. Moreover, additional random control visits shall take place while the control bodies shall ensure that at least 10% of controls each year shall be unannounced.
Control bodies shall have to draft documented procedures for exchanging information with other control bodies and control authorities. Exchange of information is not limited between control bodies from one Member – State but it shall be horizontal throughout EU. All control authorities are also obligated to inform each other and the European Commission without delay whenever they find non-compliant products bearing indications related to the organic farming method.
Control authorities shall adopt and communicate to control bodies a catalogue listing all infringements and irregularities affecting the organic status of products and corresponding measures to be applied by control bodies in case of infringements or irregularities by operators under their control who are involved in organic production. This will ensure that control bodies evaluate non-conformities against the EU regulations and take certification decisions in a unified way.
Control Authorities shall publish in an appropriate manner documentary evidence for all operators subject to the organic control system. The information will be publicly accessible, including publication on the internet, while protecting individuals (producers) with regard to the processing and exchange of personal data.
The new implementing Regulation shall apply from January 1st, 2014.
You may download the Regulation (EU) 392/2013 from our European Regulations page.]]>
“Innovation and entrepreneurship in food production: quality – safety – environment”
The event will take place in Athens (Divani Palace Acropolis Hotel), on Friday April 26th, 2013. Deadline for applications April 23rd, 2013.
DS Consulting participates in the event with Dimitris Sotiropoulos as a speaker, covering the subject: “Carbon Footprint: Re-evaluating the supply chain”
Further information and application submission procedure at EFET official website (www.efet.gr)
Organic farming covers a relatively limited part of the EU’s utilised agricultural area – around 5% – but the sector is driven by ever-increasing consumer demand. In the current economic downturn, will consumers continue to turn towards a more sustainable lifestyle and higher consumption of organic products?
Issues in this consultation
In this consultation, the European Commission would like your views on how best to develop organic farming.
simplifying the legal framework – while ensuring standards are not watered down
co-existence of GM crops with organic farming
better control systems and trade arrangements for organic products
impact of the new labelling rules (especially the now obligatory use of the European logo on all EU-produced organic products – has this given organic products more visibility?)
Action plan – in 2004, the Commission launched an Action Plan to develop organic farming in Europe, which gave further impetus to the sector. This consultation is also an opportunity to consult the public on areas where a new action plan might be needed.
Controls – for the sector to develop, it is essential to guarantee its integrity. Some recent cases of fraud suggest the need to reinforce controls and enforce the rules more tightly.
Imports – an import regime has been set up to regulate the growing international trade in organic products. Because of the fast pace of this market development, shortcomings have to be addressed to ensure the smooth functioning of our organic trade in the future.
In order to participate in this consultation, you will have to fill in the on-line questionnaire. The questionnaire proposes a review of issues linked to organic farming and it is available in all official European languages. It will take you less than 15 minutes.
For further information and instructions please visit the European Commission ‘s official webpage.]]>
The IFOAM EU Group released a new Dossier titled “Organic Agriculture – A Strategy for Climate Change Adaptation“, dealing with this issue. The dossier presents a collection of articles by researchers who, from a multidisciplinary approach, analyze scientific data and demonstrate the potential of Organic Agriculture, as a holistic sustainable production system which contributes to increase farmer’s resilience to adapt to changing climate patterns. Topics include the organic farming practices as an investment in climate change resilience (A. Müller and A. Gattinger), a focus on the Northern Europe (J.E Olesen), on the Mediterranean regions (E. Aguilera, G. Guzmán and L. Ortolani) and an analysis of the international and European legal context of climate change adaptation in agriculture (A. Kölling and T. Elola-Calderón).
You may read the dossier by clicking the image below:
The organic fruit and vegetable box service is available since the end of 2012 and TESCO currently uses its own logistics’ system. The organic boxes are being delivered 7 days per week, prior to a 24 hour purchase order.
Supermarkets are in the heart of the Food Market since they receive information from both producers and consumers. This is exactly why they show good reflexes towards any new trend or consumer behavior change.
Nutritional behavior is in a state of change throughout Europe as a consequence of the huge impact of the economic crisis. The former nutrition model that lasted over a decade is strongly disputed whilst consumers now aim at products that represent the protection of the environment, local production and organic farming. This trend is spreading fast across Europe and the USA and it is verified by the constant growth of the Organic Food Market.
This is actually good news especially for the organic production sector but also for conventional small-scale farming too. This new trend shows that it will strongly support any effort towards greening agricultural production, producing healthy food and local agricultural products.]]>
This conference is a forum for experts, practitioners and producers, certifiers, scientist, organic businesses, other stakeholders and representatives of national and EU institutions to exchange ideas and concepts.
Workshops will allow delegates to discuss and share insights with Commission officials about the important contribution of organic food and farming to EU policy goals. The first workshop will consider the development of environmental performance in organic processing and trade sector and the role of organic farming in Sustainable Food Consumption and Production. The second workshop will focus on the integrity and the credibility of the organic sector and will look at the review of the EU Organic Regulation. Finally the third workshop will focus on the improvement of EU and private rules which ensure the high quality of organic processed food and will look at the need for harmonised interpretation and further development of these rules.
For more information and for registration please visit organicfoodprocessing.eu]]>
Carbon footprinting is a term directly connected in our minds with environmental protection. When we bump on a product that declares its carbon footprint, we reflectively come to the conclusion that the company which produces it takes actions against climate change and is certainly doing something good for the environment. This is something new. Companies have the opportunity to make use of this new power. Consumers are all the more aware of global climate risks and environmental challenges. Up to now, there wasn’t any symbol or reference that could create so much “buzz” and produce a direct positive message. Only save organic products, where the term itself is directly combined with “healthier”. That is innovative itself.
Apart from marketing though, there are more benefits in product carbon footprinting and more links to innovation. The most significant one is that it makes us see old things in a surprisingly new way.
In order to understand what is interesting about carbon footprints, we have to take a look at the way the system works. When one manufactures a product, from a fresh tomato to a highly sophisticated i-pad, you need raw materials, intermediate products, processing, distribution all the links of the supply chain. Every material that is produced, manufactured, transported produces CO2 emissions either directly or as an indirect effect. With carbon footprinting we actually calculate all these greenhouse gas emissions and divide them by the number of products that are produced in a year. Thus we end up with a product’s carbon footprint. So, if you put the end product in the middle, you have some upstream emissions and some downstream emissions that are related to it and form part of the total amount of CO2. This is all mathematics and calculations but it gives us a whole new perspective of the production process.
Take “Walkers” potato crisps for example. Walkers is a subsidiary of PepsiCo and in 2007 they have decided to measure the product’s carbon footprint, mostly because they wanted to demonstrate the company’s dedication on environmental protection and involvement in tackling climate change. When carbon footprinting was complete, they accidentally discovered that the energy consumption that was made during the frying of the potatoes process was unproportionate related to the total amount of energy spent for producing the crisps. This revealed that the problem occurred because the raw materials (fresh potatoes) where coming from the producers at a moderately high humidity rate and needed more frying time (processing) in order to become potato crisps. Walkers then asked its producers to harvest and store potatoes in a way to reduce humidity and subsequently reduced the frying time by 10% and of course the energy spent. This change made Walkers save up to 1.2 million £ per year across the supply chain and 225.000 £ directly from the electricity bill!
When you observe something from a different angle you also need a new approach to handle it. Innovation may refer to new technologies, sustainable management or a 180o degree turn to the way a company operates in order to level up with new trends and consumer expectations. In any case, to make use of a carbon footprint’s results you shall need an innovative way to make the necessary changes.
A few words about the Innovation Farm…
This different kind of “farm” from Thessalonike, active in Greece and abroad since January 2010, supports offer and demand for new innovative ideas with customised services. These include empowerment of business startups, business re-dapting, intellectual property management and more. Innovation Farm from the very beginning of its foundation, actively encourages experiential training offering “food for thought” as well as practice. Its goal is to support sustainable development and freeing entrepreneurship from stereotypes. As the “Innovation Farmers” say, do you have a crazy idea? do you want to make things happen? Join the Farm…
Innovative actions and services
–JOIN THE FARM–]]>