IFOAM Press Release

Teslic, Bosnia and Herzegovina, May 5, 2006

First IFOAM Conference on Organic Wild Production an Impressive Success

Teslic, Bosnia and Herzegovina, May 5th 2006 - The First IFOAM Conference on Organic Wild Production created greater awareness and understanding of organic wild production. From May 3rd to 4th, experts from 40 countries worked together to establish the state of the art in organic wild production. The conference has demonstrated unequivocally the worldwide interest in sustainable wild collection.

In his opening welcome address, IFOAM President Gerald A. Herrmann emphasized “wild collected products play a role in the lives of almost everyone - when we make use of ointments or drink herbal tea, even if we are unaware. For the collectors themselves, it means often a considerable income source. The interest of participants from so many countries underscores the importance of this sector.”

The opening plenary session highlighted the report The Overview of Production and Marketing of Organic Wild Products commissioned by the International Trade Centre (ITC) and set the stage for a constructive conference. Ulrich Helberg, one of the report’s authors, said “wild plants play an important role in the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of gatherers throughout the world, and the plants that are collected are extremely diverse and numerous. They are used for everything from food and medicine to industrial goods and building materials, and it is my sincere hope that the information contained in this report enables the growth and development of organic wild production.”

Sustainability was one of the primary themes covered by the conference, and the ecological, social and economic implications of wild collection were considered. Discussions centered on the role that standards play in guaranteeing sustainable use, a guarantee both for collectors and consumers. The conference made significant advances in aligning the organic wild collection sector.
Jovo Stojcic, Director of the Agricultural Institute of the Republic of Srpska said “wild collection is an important part of the agriculture economy in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and an increasingly large number of family farms deal with this work. There is growing interest wild production for medical and other uses.” Mr. Stojcic expects that a result of the conference will be the connection between local and international producers of organic wild products, and thus will spur the development of projects in the area in which the conference has been held.

Contact at the conference:
Gerald A. Herrmann, IFOAM President, Mobile telephone number: +49-177-5521460, Email: g.herrmann@organic-services.com

IFOAM Press Release, Responsible: Angela B. Caudle, Contact: Neil Sorensen

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