ORGANIC WEEK opened in EU institutions
Brussels , 06/06/2006 – Today the IFOAM EU Group and Bioforum inaugurate the “Organic Week” in the canteens of the European Parliament, the Committee of
Regions and the European Economic and Social Committee, which will take place from June 06-09 (1). During this period EU officials and their guests have the possibility to enjoy each day an organic meal. This initiative is officially supported by the above mentioned European institutions and aims to endorse the use of organic food in public canteens.?
"The experience of our members has shown that public procurement is an important strategy tool to promote organic food and farming and to ensure a dynamic development of the organic sector”, said Francis Blake, president of the IFOAM EU Group.?
“It is now up to the European Institutions and governments to take up the initiative and to ensure that organic food becomes an essential part in the daily menu of the canteens of the European institutions”, added Marco Schlüter, head of the Brussels office. “This would be a natural consequence of the European Action plan on Organic Food and Farming (2) which was welcomed by all EU institutions. They now need to practice what they have preached. “?
The initiative is a follow up of the Organic week in the canteens of the European Council and the European Commission (May 17-24) organised by IFOAM EU Group in conjunction with the Austrian Presidency (3). The EU institutions’ canteens, offering thousands of meals every day, should set a good example for public and private canteens in the European Member States.
Successful implementation of organic catering has taken place in the private sector, such as IKEA (one million meals in 2006), Scandic Hotels or the bank WestLB with 22% organic meals. In Netherlands ten large NGOs, with four million members, signed a commitment in 2005 to change completely to organic catering. These examples show that organic catering can contribute significantly to increase the market of organic products (in Europe about 12.5 billion EURO).
The IFOAM EU Group calls on National and European institutions to take this into account.?
Ends (Characters 1,747)
Marco Schlüter , IFOAM EU Group, firstname.lastname@example.org, phone: +32- 2 -735 2797, fax: +32-2 -735 7381
Etienne Aulotte, phone: Bioforum Belgium , +32 -81-61.46.55; fax: +32-81-61.01.45?
(1) At the same time the Belgium organic week (June 3-11) takes place. See: http://www.bioforum.be/semaine/?
(2) European Action Plan for Organic Food and Farming: http://ec.europa.eu/comm/agriculture/qual/organic/plan/comm_en.pdf?
(3) Organic Week, May 17-24 in the canteen of the European Commission and the European Council
Website IFOAM EU Group: http://www.ifoam.org/about_ifoam/around_world/eu_group/eu_group.html
Website Bioforum: www.bioforum.be