Wider adoption of organic agricultural practice has been proposed as a way to address challenges facing food and farming, such as climate change, biodiversity loss, migration away from rural areas and food security.
The new platform, which was launched this week with a presentation to the permanent presentation of the Czech Republic, incoming holder of the rotating presidency, sets out to define organic policy-makers and “defend them vis-à-vis the policy makers.
“EU should lose not time and use the tool of the 7th EU Research Framework programme to boost organic research,” said Marco Schluter, director of the IFOAM EU Group.
“The EU can’t allow missing this change to foster innovations and economic development in line with the need of society for sustainable solutions. Sufficient efforts in organic research are of utmost importance to secure future potentials.”
The presentation included a practical element with an outline of the first major publication of the platform, Vision for an Organic Food and Farming Research Agenda to 2025, which was produced after a year of consultations.
This scopes out the potential for organic food to mitigate some of the problems, and reinforces the call for research in priority areas, and the need for more funding.
The organic market in the EU is said to be almost €16bn, accounting for over half organic food sales worldwide.
But commercially successful as it may be, Eric Gall if the Fondation Sciences Citoyennes said competitiveness in one industrial sector is not the only thing that matters. Rather, budgets and priorities set today “largely define how society will look in 20 years time”.
“Consumers increasingly chose foods which satisfy high quality, environmental and social standards. These added values are part of the organic food ethics and praxis.”
The Technology Platform Organics brings together the organic sector, research community and civil society, and follows the model of other EU-acknowledged technology platforms.