IFOAM EU at a glance

15 years at the heart of the EU

In May 2018, IFOAM EU celebrated its 15-year anniversary. We did this in the company of more than 150 guests, including our members from all over Europe, decision-makers and representatives of other agri-food and environmental organisations.

In 2003, our office in Brussels was established to coordinate the organic movement’s advocacy work. Since then we have been fighting for the adoption of ecologically, socially and economically sound farming systems based on the principles of organic agriculture – health, ecology, fairness and care – at European level. As of 2018, 19 staff members and five one-year European Volunteers perform this task.

For more information about our members, our governance and operating structures, interest groups and working groups, visit the IFOAM EU website and consult our short overview.

IFOAM EU’s members

IFOAM EU is a membership-based organisation representing 200 members in 34 countries. Working closely with our members, we ensure that our positions reflect the day-to-day business of organic farmers, processors, certifiers and other practitioners across Europe and represent the voice of organic food and farming vis-à-vis the institutions on European level. Through our close ties with key agricultural, environmental and technical decision-makers at local, regional, national and European level, the European institutions recognise IFOAM EU as the leading advocate for organic food and farming in the European Union (EU).

Discover which members are already contributing to making Europe more organic! Are you interested in becoming a member of IFOAM EU to ensure that your voice is heard? Send an email to IFOAMEU_membership [at] ifoam-eu.org.

Leading the transformation

By 2030, the organic movement wants a fair, environmentally conscious, healthy and caring food and farming systems across Europe covering three pillars:

Based on our goals and strategy, we established an organic roadmap to sustainable food and farming systems in Europe. This Roadmap provides an overview of what IFOAM EU, food & farming actors and policy-makers can do to reach our vision.

Figure 1: Strategic pillars to reach the IFOAM EU vision

Strategic pillars to reach the IFOAM EU vision

The organic movement’s vision

Our vision for food and farming is that of a fair, environmentally conscious, healthy and caring system widely adopted in Europe. The European organic movement continues to lead change, believes in holistic approaches and thrives on interactions with other like-minded initiatives, including fair trade, agroecology and urban agriculture.

Driven by the support of citizens and by building bridges with other stakeholders in the food and farming system, we are committed to achieving more than half of Europe’s agricultural land managed according to organic principles of health, fairness, ecology and care, providing fresh, seasonal, fairly priced as well as minimally and carefully processed organic food to every European home, workplace and institution.

The European organic movement stimulates and rewards the further development of organic systems, improving the resilience and environmental performance of organic production systems, while innovative tools for upholding the integrity of the supply chain promote trust. Policy-makers and citizens widely recognise and value the contribution of organic farming to the delivery and support of vital ecosystem services to society.

As we move forward towards our goal of being a model for sustainable farming and food systems, we support a culture of innovation based on holistic principles leading to more resilient and productive farming systems, greater biodiversity, better food quality, more appropriate processing and fairer supply chains. New and indigenous, locally adapted varieties and breeds suited to organic farming practices and local conditions are encouraged and preserved. Farm animals are healthy, live in stress-free conditions and contribute to the sustainability of organic farms.

European farmers and all workers in the organic supply chain are fairly remunerated for their contribution to the health of the environment, communities, local and rural economies, and for providing flavourful and abundant food to contribute to the welfare of our planet and the quality of life of all people.

The organic movement works towards a paradigm shift in education and learning to strengthen the connection between environmentally and socially responsible food choices. People reconnect to food production by actively engaging with short supply chains.

The topics we work on

To reach this vision, IFOAM EU is actively working on the following topics with food and farming actors and policy-makers.

Figure 2: The topics IFOAM EU advocates for

IFOAM EU Advocacy

The projects we are part of

Projects that IFOAM EU coordinated in 2018

    • What? Improve transparency and competitiveness of the organic seed and breeding sector, encourage greater use of organic seed.
    • When? June 2017 – May 2021
    • Who? 49 partners from 18 European countries.
    • IFOAM EU’s role? Project coordinator and involvement in several tasks, such as the organisation of national visits to better understand the use of organic seed in different Member States and workshops to find ways to improve the use of organic seed.
    • Funding? Horizon 2020, the EU’s research and innovation framework programme.
  • OK Net Arable
    • What? Promote the exchange of knowledge among farmers, farm advisers and scientists to increase productivity and quality in organic arable cropping all over Europe.
    • When? March 2015 – February 2018
    • Who? 17 partners from 12 European countries.
    • IFOAM EU’s role? Project coordinator, communication and dissemination.
    • Funding? Horizon 2020, the EU’s research and innovation framework programme.
  • OK Net Ecofeed
    • What? Help farmers, breeders and the organic feed processing industry achieving the goal of 100% use of organic, regional feed for monogastrics.
    • When? January 2018 – December 2020
    • Who? 19 partners from 11 European countries. 
    • IFOAM EU’s role? Project coordinator, communication and dissemination.
    • Funding? Horizon 2020, the EU’s research and innovation framework programme.
    • What? Promote and measure the impact of climate-friendly farming practices.
    • When? September 2013 – August 2018
    • Who? 5 partners from 4 European countries. 
    • IFOAM EU’s role? Day-to-day coordinator.
    • Funding? Co-financed by the LIFE programme, the Ekhagastiftelsen foundation and the Mercator foundation.
    • What? Develop and facilitate tools and technologies to improve inputs considered ‘contentious’ in organic farming systems.
    • When? May 2018 – April 2022
    • Who? 32 partners from all over Europe.
    • IFOAM EU’s role? Communication and dissemination.
    • Funding? Horizon 2020, the EU’s research and innovation framework programme.
  • Keeping GMOs out of organic
    • What? Strengthen GMO-free production by organising and supporting the organic movement in its efforts to develop practical strategies to remain GMO-free.
    • When? 2014 – 2020
    • Who? Organic and non-GMO stakeholders, NGO representatives and EU regions working on food production and prevention of GMO contamination.
    • IFOAM EU’s role? Project coordinator.
    • Funding? Co-financed by the LIFE programme, and project partners BioSuisse, DO-IT, , Rapunzel, RDV Products, Software AG Stiftung, Vivi Verde Coop Italia, Fondation Salvia.

Projects IFOAM EU contributed to in 2018

  • The Internet of Food and Farm 2020
    • What? Facilitate the uptake of Internet of Things in the European food and farming sector.
    • When? 2016 – 2020
    • Who? 70+ partners from 14 European countries.
    • IFOAM EU’s role? Ensure that organic is represented and that organic innovative practices are included.
    • Funding? Horizon 2020, the EU’s research and innovation framework programme.
  • ReMIX
    • What? Exploit the benefits of species mixtures to design more diverse and resilient arable cropping systems.
    • When? May 2017 – April 2021
    • Who? 23 partners from 13 European countries.
    • IFOAM EU’s role? Knowledge transfer and dissemination towards stakeholders and policy-makers.
    • Funding? Horizon 2020, the EU’s research and innovation framework programme.
    • What? Network of European farms to enhance cross fertilisation and innovation uptake through demonstration.
    • When? January 2018 – December 2021
    • Who? 32 partners from all over Europe.
    • IFOAM EU’s role? Deputy network leader in two organic networks: arable cropping and livestock.
    • Funding? Horizon 2020, the EU’s research and innovation framework programme.
    • What? Enhance the competitiveness and sustainability of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the organic sector of the participating regions.
    • When? April 2016 –  March 2020
    • Who? Regional governments, development agencies, organic food and farming, enterprise bodies, universities and research institutes from eight regions across Europe.
    • IFOAM EU’s role? Advisory partner.
    • Funding? Interreg Europe, the programme that helps to stimulate cooperation between regions in the EU.
  • XF-Actors
    • What? Establish a multidisciplinary research program to answer the urgent need to improve prevention, early detection and control of Xylella fastidiosa (Xf) disease.
    • When? November 2016 – October 2020
    • Who? An international consortium of 29 partners.
    • IFOAM EU’s role? Communication and dissemination.
    • Funding? Horizon 2020, the EU’s research and innovation framework programme.
  • European Voluntary Service
    • What? Provide the opportunity to young people aged 18-30 to fully immense themselves in IFOAM EU’s work by volunteering at the office in Brussels for one year in different units.
    • When? Various years
    • Who? The project partners included sending organisations from several countries, mostly youth and environmental non-profit organisations.
    • IFOAM EU’s role? Project coordinator.
    • Funding? Erasmus+ programme.
  • FutureEUAqua
    • What? Promote sustainable growth of environmentally friendly organic and conventional aquaculture of major fish species and low trophic level organisms resilient to climate change.
    • When? October 2018 – September 2022
    • Who? 32 partners from 9 European countries.
    • IFOAM EU’s role? Training an capacity building as well as communication and dissemination.
    • Funding? Horizon 2020, the EU’s research and innovation framework programme.

The events we organise & partner with

IFOAM EU’s events

  • 12th European Organic Congress
    • What? IFOAM EU’s high-level event to learn, discuss and exchange with policy-makers and organic stakeholders about current topics, such as the new organic regulation, the Common Agricultural Policy and emerging technologies.
    • When? Annually
  • 5th Organic Processing Conference
    • What? The event for organic processors and operators to exchange and get up to speed with new technologies and trends in the organic sector.
    • When? Bi-annually
  • 4th Organic Innovation Days
    • What? The Organic Innovation Days of TP Organics serve to discuss research needs and innovations within and outside the organic sector. IFOAM EU hosts TP Organics’ secretariat and further promotes the event among its membership.
    • When? Annually
  • BIOFACH 2018
    • What? The world´s leading trade fair for organic food. IFOAM EU organises side events on every day of the European edition of the fair. The annual ‘EU Policy Day’ is organised together with BIOFACH. TP Organics co-organises the annual ‘Science Day’.
    • When? Annually

Are you interested in contributing to one of our events? Contact info [at] ifoam-eu.org.

Events IFOAM EU partnered with

  • Ecofruit
    • What? Brings together European researchers and consultants working on topics related to organic fruit growing.
    • When? Annually  
  • Natexpo
    • What? International trade show for organic products.
    • When? Annually
  • Natural & Organic Products Europe
    • What? Europe’s biggest trade show for natural and organic products as well as natural beauty and personal care products.
    • When? Annually
  • Sustainable Foods Summit
    • What? The event that explores new horizons for eco-labels and sustainability in the food industry by discussing key industry issues.
    • When? Annually

Are you interested in a partnership between IFOAM EU and your event? Contact info [at] ifoam-eu.org.

The technology platform for organic

IFOAM EU contributes to the research and innovation that makes Europe more organic by hosting the secretariat of TP Organics, the European Technology Platform for organic food and farming research. TP Organics plays a key role in highlighting what areas research and innovation funding should focus on. The platform unites almost 100 companies, farmers, consumers, civil society organisations and researchers active in the organic value chain.

Organic globally



IFOAM EU is one of the regional bodies of IFOAM – Organics International, the global umbrella organisation for organic agriculture.

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