|The 15th Organic World Congress of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) Unites the Organic World in Adelaide, Australia|
September 24, 2005
The 15th Organic World Congress of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) Unites the Organic World in Adelaide, Australia
The international organic community converged on Adelaide, Australia for the 15th IFOAM Organic World Congress “Shaping Sustainable Systems,” with more than 1000 delegates from 72 countries from September 20-23, resulting in a Congress Declaration calling on governments to increase investment in organic agriculture.
The Congress Declaration of The 15th Organic World Congress of the
International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) calls
upon governments worldwide to actively endorse and practically support
organic agriculture. It also calls on individual governments to allocate
budgetary funds for investment into organic agriculture, proportionate
to the organic sector’s production in their countries, and to
internalize social and environmental costs in the prices of
agricultural products and remunerate organic farmers for ecosystem
services they provide. For the complete text of the Adelaide Declaration, please visit http://www.ifoam.org/press_new/press/Organic_World_Congress_Results.html
“Australia is the world leader when it comes to total certified organic acreage. My own home country, Sweden, has a target that 20 percent of the land should be organically farmed by year 2005, and I can happily announce that it is almost accomplished – the latest figures state 19 percent,” reported Gunnar Rundgren, IFOAM President, in his opening speech. He noted “Research shows that organic is a more productive system if all relevant aspects are taken into account, such as the external costs and the maintenance and production of eco system services,” which was recently demonstrated through a 22-year farming trial study from Cornell University (http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/July05/organic.farm.vs.other.ssl.html).
In his keynote speech, Australian Senator the Hon. Richard Colbeck, Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, emphasized “In line with international trends, the organic movement is experiencing unprecedented interest in Australia and rapidly gaining mainstream consumer and producer acceptance, adding “With local demand for organic produce substantially outstripping supply, there is enormous scope for expanding the range and volume of organic product offered to Australian – and international – consumers.”
Andre Leu, Chair of the Organic Federation of Australia noted “There are not too many good news stories in agriculture. It is in crisis on every continent with farmers struggling to survive. In Australia we have lost over 20,000 farmers in the last decade and it is similar in most countries. However the number of organic farmers continues to increase and we have proven that can provide the most important of commodities, healthy food. We are truly one of the good news stories, a wonderful ray of hope for our world.”
The IFOAM Organic World Congress serves to facilitate the gathering and exchange of knowledge about the latest trends in organic agriculture between people from all over the world. It’s a forum for discussing both common viewpoints and diverging perspectives, thus shaping the future of the international organic movement. “IFOAM has held our most important event in Australia, and with over 11,300,00 hectares and 2,170 farms under organic management, accounting for 42.7% of the global total, Australia was a well-deserved location. Organic Agriculture, specifically in regard to its positive impact on the improvement of soils - to only name one of the many benefits, holds a lot of promise here, and we hope that the Australian organic movement benefits and grows as a result of this event,” explains Gerald A. Herrmann, IFOAM Vice President.
“The National Association for Sustainable Agriculture, Australia (NASAA), the congress organizer, has done a wonderful job bringing the program and participants together and setting the stage for a successful event. Jan Denham, the Congress Director, and her committed team deserve our special appreciation. IFOAM would also like to express its gratitude to the many donors and supporters of this conference,” states Angela B. Caudle, IFOAM Executive Director.
The 8th International IFOAM Organic Viticulture and Wine Conference also brought together the world’s experts on organic wine from all over the planet to facilitate the further development of markets and products, and discussed challenges and opportunities for moving forward and conquering mainstream markets.
The International Scientific Conference on Organic Agriculture delved into the latest research and technical advances in organic agriculture. Organized by ISOFAR, the newly established global scientific research authority for organic agriculture, the conference has helped to take global cooperation in research, methodological development, education and knowledge exchange another step forward.
The IFOAM General Assembly, the democratic decision making forum for IFOAM, will take place from September 25-27. Important decisions that will affect the future of the organic industry will be made, including the adoption of the revised Principles of Organic Agriculture, the election of the IFOAM World Board of Directors and the consideration of wide-ranging motions from the IFOAM membership, all monumental decisions for the booming $26 billion market for organic products.
For more information, please visit the IFOAM Website: http://www.ifoam.org. For press inquiries or to schedule an interview, please contact Gerald A. Herrmann, IFOAM Vice President, at: +49- 177-5521460 (mobile), or the IFOAM Head Office: +49-228-92650-10.
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