Posted by: Mahdi Ebrahimi | May 6, 2008

Local, Regional and Mainstream Markets at the 16th Organic World Congress

The 16th IFOAM Organic World Congress ‘Cultivate the Future’ will take place in less than two months time from June 18 – June 20 and is based on the Principles of Organic Agriculture – Health, Ecology, Fairness and Care.

The last day of the Organic World Congress, Friday June 20th, will deal with important subjects such as organic markets and GMOs.

The organic markets sessions (mainstream, certification, short supply chains and participatory guarantee) will start with a common plenary where the whole breadth of organic marketing will be covered. Farmer John Peterson, maker of the movie ‘The Real Dirt on Farmer John’, will share his experiences from his own farm, which is community supported. Wolfgang Sachs from the Wuppertal Institute will talk about slow trade and fair farming, whereas a representative Jan Kees Vis from Unilever will reveal the multinational’s stance towards organic. Participants can later on choose to attend a meeting on Short Supply Chains or rather get an overview of the work of the International Task Force on Harmonization and Equivalence in Organic Agriculture.

Genetically Modified Organisms, GMO’s, not allowed in organic agriculture, stay subject to debate. The newest techniques and their impacts will be shared as well as advocacy strategies against GMO’s and organic farmers’ daily practices in a world where unfortunately GMO’s are grown. To make the shift to the positive, the afternoon will deal with viable seed for organic agriculture, an opportunity to exchange experiences from participatory plant breeding projects and seed saving initiatives.

The conference will close with reflections from the plenary speakers on the Principles of Organic Agriculture. Vandana Shiva will give feedback on what she learned during the Congress on the Principle of Ecology, and Tewolde Berhan Gebre Egziabher will do so for the Principle of Care. Frances Moore Lappé and Howard Shapiro respectively will reflect upon the Principles of Fairness and Health and share with the participants their findings of the Congress that will inspire the participants to ‘Cultivate the Future’.

The Organizers, IFOAM and the Conzorzio ModenaBio2008 expect at least 1500 participants for this unforgettable experience. IFOAM’s President, Gerald A. Herrmann states: ‘Our local partners have been elaborating a wonderful setting in Modena, culinary delights abound: fresh seasonal specialties, traditional dishes and matured traditional balsamic vinegar and Parmesan cheese are awaiting the visitors. With the experiences of the past congresses, I have no doubt that your participation will be rewarding.’

The Principles of Organic Agriculture



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