Press Release

International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements – EU Regional Group

Brussels – 22 June 2011:

The Conference “Sustainable food chains for a European Strategy and Action plan towards a sustainable knowledge-based bio-economy by 2020” was held in the European Parliament today.

Urs Niggli, Steering Committee of TP Organics, stated: “Bio-economy at the moment appears as a “gold rush” for the unlimited use of natural resources – but a responsible bio-economy must initially address the sustainable use of resources. Farmers should not be commodity producers but producers of quality food and managers of the eco-system. We should move from technological innovation to clever innovation! We need integrated, comprehensive and sustainable approaches towards innovation; moreover we need partnerships to work out future systems of natural resource use that involve a broad range of civil society, including farmers, scientists, SMEs and consumers.”

The conference concluded that three main future actions are needed to make the EU initiative for a “Knowledge Based Bio-Economy

a contribution to sustainable development in the EU:

Focus on comprehensive and sustainable production, retailing and consumption systems and not on single technologies.

Target the delivery of social benefits and public goods to meet pressing social and environmental challenges; the wider development and application of agro-ecological knowledge through innovation can significantly contribute to this objective. Therefore, the EU must invest in maintenance and further development of the organic farming concept and standard.

All innovative potential of the whole agriculture and food sector must be captured to contribute to innovation. The potential of farmers and SMEs to contribute innovation and knowledge in the food and farming sector must be fully recognised.

Creation of transparent relationships between producers and consumers.

The Conference “Sustainable food chains for a European Strategy and Action plan towards a sustainable knowledge-based bio-economy by 2020” has been organized by the IFOAM EU Group in cooperation with EEB (European Environmental Bureau), EFFAT (European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Union), EUROCOOP (European Community of Consumer Cooperatives), SLU (Swedish University of Agriculture Sciences), CAAE (Comité Andaluz de Agricultura Ecológica) and TP Organics. The event brought together more then 100 participants who discussed the upcoming challenges for research and innovation towards a sustainable bio-economy with representatives from the European Commission, the European Parliament, the research community, consumers, farm workers, regions and environmental organisations.

More information:

IFOAM EU Group, phone + 32-2-280 12 23, Fax: +32-2-735 73 81,,

Rue du Commerce 124
1000 Brussels
Phone: +32 2 280 11 51
Fax: +32 2 735 7381
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The IFOAM EU Group is the European working level within the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements. It brings together more than 300 organisations, associations and enterprises from all EU-27, EFTA and candidate countries. IFOAM´s goal is the worldwide adoption of ecologically, socially and economically sound systems that are based on the principles of Organic Agriculture.