The IFOAM EU
Group is an independent regional group within IFOAM, the International
Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements. It is a part
of IFOAM and works within its structures. IFOAM EU Group represents at
the EU level more than 300 member organisations of IFOAM in the EU-27,
the EU accession countries and EFTA. Member organisations cover the
complete range of organic establishments and include: consumer, farmer
and processor associations; research, education and advisory organisations; certification bodies and commercial organic companies.
IFOAM EU Group was formally constituted as a regional group within
IFOAM in February 2000 following its first General Assembly. It superseded
the EU Working Group, which was formed in 1990. In 2002, IFOAM EU Group
registered as an international not-for-profit organisation in Sweden.
Since 2003 it operates with an office in Brussels.
Aims and objectives and areas of work
EU Group advocates for the development and integrity of organic food
and farming in Europe. It is a forum for common interest, information
exchange, development and policy work. Its objectives are defined in its
statutes and can be summarised as:
promote within the EU the principles and practices of organic
agriculture and food production as set out in the IFOAM Standards.
- To coordinate and represent IFOAM members in EU countries, within IFOAM, in the EU and elsewhere.
- To enable the exchange of information both between IFOAM members in EU countries and with other bodies worldwide.
- To assist in the coordination and dissemination of research in organic food production throughout the EU.
- To work towards the establishment of common policies within the Group in relation to the above.
IFOAM EU Group work and decision-making structures
responsibility for the decisions of IFOAM EU Group is vested in the
Board of the organisation, which is elected every three years and is
endorsed by the General Assembly. Board members are elected nationally,
i.e. the IFOAM members in each EU/EFTA/candidate country elect one board
member and one substitute to represent the respective national organic
sectors at the Board of the EU Group. This structure reflects the fact
that much of the Group’s focus is directed at the EU and it is thus
essential to maintain the credibility of the organisation as EU-wide
representative of the organic movements and businesses. Indeed today the
Group is regarded by EU officials as the principle representative of
the organic movement in the EU.
members of the Board are responsible for communication to and from the
member organisations in their countries and for bringing their views to
the Board. The Board holds formal meetings two or three times a year in
different member countries, and communicates on an ongoing basis. Since
spring 2009 the Group has also had an eight-member Executive Board
which, in conjunction with the Director, manages the processes of the
organisation and adopts positions between the board meetings on behalf
of the IFOAM EU Group.
work of the Group is separated into three main areas: Regulation, Policy
and Research. Much of the work is carried out within various working
groups (committees, expert groups, specialist groups and task forces –
for more information see under ‘work areas’).
EU Group is represented on a number of European Commission committees,
including the DG Agriculture advisory groups on organic farming, on
quality and health, on rural development and on fruit and vegetables. It
has observer status in the advisory group for agriculture and
environment.It is further represented in the DG Sanco advisory group on
food chain and animal and plant health.
Last updated: 29.01.2010