Who we are
From IFOAM EU to IFOAM Organics Europe
During our General Assembly in summer 2020, re-elected President, Jan Plagge, unveiled the re-branding of IFOAM EU into IFOAM Organics Europe. Since the establishment of our organisation in 2002, we have grown with and within the organic movement and sector. To better represent who we are to the European institutions we decided to update our presence to IFOAM Organics Europe. Our updated logo and new website reinforce this.
IFOAM Organics Europe is a membership-based organisation representing almost 200 members in 31 countries. Working closely with our members, we ensure our positions reflect the day-to-day business of organic farmers, processors, certifiers, retailers, and other practitioners across Europe. We represent our members as the voice of organic food and farming vis-à-vis the European institutions. Thanks to our close ties with key agricultural, environmental, and technical decisionmakers at local, regional, national, and European level, the European institutions recognise IFOAM Organics Europe as the leading advocate for and voice of organic food and farming in the EU.
Discover which members are already contributing to making Europe more organic! Are you interested in becoming a member of IFOAM Organics Europe to ensure your voice is heard? Check out our website or email [email protected] for more information on how you can become a member!
How we work
Our four interest groups bring together the huge expertise of our members and directly involve different sectors in IFOAM Organics Europe’s organisation and work. The interest groups formulate official policies and positions relevant for their sector:
- Interest Group of Organic Certifiers (IGOC): IGOC’s Steering Committee gathered at four e-meetings throughout the year to work on specific topics, such as the future of certification as well as organic supply chain integrity. The Steering Committee drafted a definition of the integrity of the organic supply chain, which was discussed, among other topics, with all IGOC members during the group meeting held in December 2020.
- Interest Group of Organic Farmers (IGOF): The IGOF gathered at for four e-meetings throughout the year, to discuss topics such as the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform, access to land in the EU, the Organic Action Plan, or livestock issues. Some IGOF members also decided to create a subgroup and work specifically on animal welfare labelling.
- Interest Group of Organic Processors (IGOP): The IGOP organised four e-meetings throughout the year and discussed topics like the secondary legislation of the new EU Organic Regulation, flavourings, cleaning and disinfectants, and food and environmental claims. They also met online during the IGOP annual general meeting, and together with other companies during IFOAM Organics Europe meets business in December 2020.
- Interest Group of Organic Retailers (IGOR): The IGOR had four e-meetings throughout the year to discuss topics such as addressing the COVID-19 crisis, plastic free packaging, the Farm to Fork Strategy and the new EU Organic Action Plan.
Are you interested in becoming part of one of our interest groups? Contact [email protected] for questions about membership and expressions of interest about the interest groups.
Our working groups formulate positions, highlight important developments, and advise IFOAM Organics Europe’s Board and Council. They regularly exchange on topics relevant to their areas of expertise:
- IFOAM Aquaculture Forum – EU coordination
- Central and Eastern Europe Expert Group (Capacity Building)
- European Organic Comms Hub (Expert group on communication)
- Expert Group on Plant Protection Products and Fertilisers
- Expert Group on Seeds
When political developments and developments within the movement call for it, we set up task forces with members excelling on the topics. In 2020, we had task forces on:
- Climate Change and Biodiversity
- New Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)
- Implementation of the new EU Organic Regulation
Our advocacy topics
Projects we were part of
The projects we coordinated in 2020
Keeping GMOs our of organic aims at strengthening GMO-free production by organising and supporting the organic movement developing practical strategies to remain GMO-free. The project involves organic and non-GMO stakeholders, NGO representatives and EU regions working on food production and prevention of GMO contamination and is coordinated by IFOAM Organics Europe since 2014. It is co-financed by the LIFE programme, and project partners BioSuisse, DO-IT, Rapunzel, RDV Products, Software AG Stiftung, Vivi Verde Coop Italia, Fondation Salvia.
LIVESEED aims to boost organic seed and plant breeding across Europe. IFOAM Organics Europe and FiBL-Switzerland coordinate the project with 50 partners covering 18 EU countries since 2017. The LIVESEED project will increase transparency and will provide recommendations on organic seeds. The project partners analyse national seed databases and factors influencing organic seed production and use. They also explore national policies, smart practices, build EU infrastructure and analyse issues on propagation. The partners also want to advance testing protocols to improve the availability of organic seeds, ensuring they are adapted to the realities of organic farmers. LIVESEED is an EU Horizon 2020-funded project.
OK-Net EcoFeed helps organic pig and poultry farmers to achieve the goal of 100% use of organic and regional feed. The three-year project will extend the Organic Farm Knowledge platform. IFOAM Organics Europe coordinates the project consisting of 11 partners and 8 third linked parties from 12 countries since 2018. Dissemination towards all actors in the EIP-AGRI network is an integral part of OK-Net EcoFeed’s activities. OK-Net EcoFeed is an EU Horizon 2020-funded project.
The Horizon 2020 projects we contributed to in 2020
BIOFRUITNET will strengthen the competitiveness of European organic fruit production through strong knowledge networks. Within BIOFRUITNET, IFOAM Organics Europe leads the knowledge transfer and dissemination through easy-to-read end user materials, such as practice abstracts and videos since 2019. IFOAM Organics Europe is also responsible for developing a communication kit to maximize the impact of BIOFRUITNET at events, fairs, and congresses. BIOFRUITNET is an EU Horizon 2020-funded project.
EURAKNOS will enhance the EU’s agricultural knowledge base by co-creating “the network to connect all Thematic Networks”. IFOAM Organics Europe’s role is to report on similar existing initiatives, in particular to connect the future EU-wide, centralised and open-source knowledge reservoir to the already established platform Organic Farm Knowledge, to contribute to capacity building through cross-exchange visits, engaging the organic community in knowledge exchange, networking actors and multi-actor projects, as well as communication and dissemination. EURAKNOS is an EU Horizon 2020-funded multi-actor project which started in 2019.
Building on the proof of concept that will be established by EURAKNOS, EUREKA will build a European knowledge repository for best agricultural practices and will boost knowledge interaction and connectivity between different knowledge reservoirs and existing initiatives. IFOAM Organics Europe’s role is to contribute to the project with its expertise on organic farming and experience with multi-actor projects in the organic sector, involving organic actors in the development of the future platform and making sure it fits their needs. EUREKA is an EU Horizon 2020-funded project that started in 2020.
FoodShift2030 will launch an ambitious, citizen-driven transition of Europe’s food system to a low carbon, circular future. This Horizon 2020 project is promoting food systems innovations in nine cities across Europe. IFOAM Organics Europe contributes to the conceptual framework for further development of governance strategies and food policy strategies since 2020. We will also disseminate project outputs within the organic network and at our main events.
Since 2018, FutureEUAqua promotes sustainable growth of environmentally friendly organic and conventional aquaculture of both major fish species and low trophic level organisms resilient to climate change. IFOAM Organics Europe’s role is to work on training, capacity building, communication, and dissemination. FutureEUAqua is an EU Horizon 2020-funded project.
IPMWorks is a Horizon 2020 project that started in 2020. It will build a European farm network to demonstrate integrated pest management (IPM) strategies and to promote the adoption of such strategies via knowledge exchange. IFOAM Organics Europe’s role is to build and facilitate the network of organic demonstration farms participating in the project.
IoF2020 project is a large-scale pilot under Horizon 2020 investigating and fostering large-scale implementation of the Internet of Things in European food and farming. IFOAM Organics Europe is a project partner and represents the European organic movement since 2017.
The NEFERTITI project is an EU-wide connected network of demonstration and pilot farms to enhance knowledge exchange and innovation uptake. It established 10 interactive thematic networks, connected 45 regional clusters of demo-farmers and related actors in 17 countries. IFOAM Organics Europe is deputy network leader in two organic networks, namely arable cropping, and livestock. NEFERTITI is an EU Horizon 2020-funded project that started in 2018.
RELACS seeks to promote the development and adoption of environmentally safe and economically viable tools and technologies to reduce the use of external inputs in organic farming systems. IFOAM Organics Europe is responsible for the communication and dissemination of project results as well as coordinating the science-practice-policy dialogue since 2018. RELACS is an EU Horizon 2020-funded project.
The Horizon 2020 project ReMIX exploits the benefits of species mixtures to design more diversified and resilient agroecological arable cropping systems. IFOAM Organics Europe is a project partner representing the European organic movement and ensuring knowledge transfer and dissemination towards stakeholders and policymakers since 2017.
SmartAgriHubs will realise the digitisation of European agriculture by fostering an agricultural innovation ecosystem dedicated to excellence, sustainability, and success. It is a €20 million project under the Horizon 2020 instrument and brings together a consortium of over 164 partners in the European agri-food sector since 2018. The project aims to realise the digitisation of European agriculture by fostering an agricultural innovation ecosystem dedicated to excellence, sustainability, and success. IFOAM Organics Europe’s role is to connect the dots between SmartAgriHubs and the organic sector, disseminate project outputs and communicate key messages during the project run.
XF-ACTORS is a project under the Horizon 2020 instrument and brings together an international consortium of 29 partners. The project aims to establish a multidisciplinary research program to answer the urgent need to improve prevention, early detection, and control of Xylella fastidiosa disease. Since 2016, IFOAM Organics Europe’s role is to promote the project outcomes to all relevant stakeholders in the organic sector and ensure information about the project and its result reaches all relevant actors in Europe.
The Erasmus+ project we contributed to in 2020
The Erasmus+ ESC project offers people aged 18-30 with the opportunity to immense themselves in IFOAM Organics Europe’s work by volunteering at our office in Brussels for one year. IFOAM Organics Europe is working together with sending organisations from several countries, mostly youth and environmental non-profit organisations and coordinates the project.
Events we organised
- What? The world´s leading trade fair for organic food. IFOAM Organics Europe organises daily side events at the fair’s European edition. The annual ‘Policy Day’ is organised together with BIOFACH. TP Organics co-organises the annual ‘Science Day’.
- When & where? 12-16 February, Nuremberg, Germany
- Browse our Twitter moments to relive the event
- What? IFOAM Organics Europe’s high-level event to discuss and exchange with policymakers and organic stakeholders about current topics, such as the new EU Organic Regulation, the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), an Organic Action Plan, the Farm to Fork Strategy and possible scenarios for a European food and farming system.
- When & where? 1-3 July, online
- Browse our Twitter moments to relive the event
- What? The Organic Innovation Days of TP Organics serve to discuss research needs and innovations within and outside the organic sector. IFOAM Organics Europe hosts TP Organics’ secretariat and promotes the event.
- When & where? 24-25 November, online
- What? An annual event bringing the organic food industry closer together.
- When & where? 8-9 December, online
TP Organics: European Technology Platform for Organic Food and Farming
By hosting TP Organics’ secretariat, IFOAM Organics Europe contributes to ensure Research & Innovation (R&I) is making Europe more organic. TP Organics is the European Technology Platform for organic food and farming and plays a key role in highlighting what areas European R&I funding should focus on. The platform unites the whole organic value chain, with more than 100 companies, farmer, consumer, and civil society organisations as well as research institutes. As a European Technology Platform, TP Organics is officially recognised by the European Commission for giving input in research policy and programmes, developing research & innovation agendas and roadmaps for research action at EU and national level. R&I is crucial for the development of the organic sector and the design of more sustainable food systems. That is why TP Organics advocates for more research funding benefiting organic and agroecological approaches, while also promoting research participation and knowledge exchange between the organic actors.
The IFOAM network
IFOAM Organics Europe is one of the regional bodies of IFOAM – Organics International, the global umbrella organisation for organic food and farming. IFOAM Organics Europe and IFOAM – Organics International collaborate closely on many important issues.
Mirroring the principles and structure of IFOAM – Organics International, we represent the organic movement and sector’s interests in Europe. We strive to unite and lead the European organic movement in its full diversity to achieve positive, sustainable change around the world. Along with the other Regional Bodies, we work in line with Organic 3.0 and according to the four principles of organic agriculture.
The IFOAM Organics Europe Board acts as a first chamber, directs our affairs and develops detailed budgets and work programmes in accordance with IFOAM Organics Europe Vision and internal strategy together with our General Assembly and Council. Our members elect IFOAM Organics Europe Board every three years during the annual General Assembly, according to sector-related and regional criteria. Once the Board is elected, its members vote for a President, a Treasurer, a Vice-President for Regulation and a Vice-President for Policy during the first Board meeting.
During our 10th General Assembly in June 2020, a motion extending the mandates of IFOAM Organics Europe Board and Council was approved, so the Board elections will represent a three-year mandate as of 2020.
IFOAM Organics Europe’s Board Members 2020-2023:
The IFOAM Organics Europe Council acts as a second chamber to the IFOAM Organics Europe Board and transmits national interests and specificities to the European level. Every three years, national assemblies – all IFOAM Organics Europe’s members of a given Member State or EFTA country – elect their national representatives. IFOAM Organics Europe’s Council consists of one Council member and two Deputy Council members from each EU country at most. Following the IFOAM Organics Europe General Assembly, the Council elects a Chair and a Vice-Chair among its members for a three-year term.
IFOAM Organics Europe Council Chairs 2020-2023:
- Chair: Évelyne Alcázar Marín (Spain)
- Vice-Chair: Jiri Lehejcek (Czech Republic)
IFOAM Organics Europe’s Council Members 2020-2023:
Income and expenditure 2020
Budget structure 2020
- Primary services provided to members to represent their voice at EU level
- Membership fees cover one third of the core budget
- LIFE operating grant covers another third
- The remaining third is financed by foundations & service fees
Research & Innovation
- H2020 projects
- Fully funded by EU grants
- Specific projects to address sector-targeted interests: GMO project, pesticide contamination project & advocacy work outside of primary services to members
- Funded by sector donors & foundations