Press Release

International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements – EU Regional Group

What’s down below must finally be put high on the agenda

IFOAM EU Group launches position paper on soil

Granada, 23/09/2011– Criticising the ongoing deadlock in the European Council on the implementation of a Soil Directive, the IFOAM EU Group1 published its position paper on the proposed EU Soil Framework Directive2 at a three-day conference held in Granada, Spain, titled “Agro-ecological management of soils”3. The conference organised by SEAE4, bringing together experts and academics in the area of soil, reinforced the need for a coherent policy and explored several aspects and threats related to soil, along with the value of agro-ecological measures for maintaining and rehabilitating soil.

“Mediterranean soils face a number of severe threats from low organic matter content to erosion, compaction and sealing, and the picture is equally gloomy for many other soils across Europe”, says Victor Gonzálvez from SEAE and board member of the IFOAM EU Group. “We simply cannot afford to let this issue linger any longer, as soil is the foundation for our future food security.”

While the paper broadly welcomes the proposal directive by the European Commission, it notes serious shortcomings in the setting up of targets, unspecified levels of ambition, and lacking a holistic and ambitious approach to the management of soil. “We fear the Commission has interpreted the argument for flexibility too narrowly, thereby ironically leaving a too broad scope for inaction open,” the paper argues.

Additionally, the paper calls for organic farming to receive special consideration in the Directive, and that considering its beneficial effects for the environment, it be mentioned as a soil-protective and enhancing measure.

The position paper is now available on the IFOAM EU website.

More information:

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