All the BIOFACH Congress topics and forums
The focal theme of the BIOFACH Congress is decided annually by the international patron of BIOFACH, IFOAM - Organics International, together with the BÖLW ecological food industry association, which is the national supporting organisation, and BIOFACH, the World’s Leading Trade Fair for Organic Food.
The theme for the 2021 Congress will be "Shaping Transformation. Stronger. Together." The event will discuss how the transformation of the food supply can be advanced even better by collaboration among various transformation movements.
You can read thepress release about the theme of the 2021 Congress here.
Save the date: Friday, 19 February, 1:00-2:30 pm: A Congress Digest with a wrap-up of selected presentations on the Congress’s focal theme, "Shaping Transformation. Stronger. Together".
The content of the Congress will be heavily influenced by Covid-19 and the impact of the pandemic. The coronavirus has affected everyone – farmers, manufacturers, dealers and consumers. There was a need to respond flexibly and creatively to mitigate the pandemic’s consequences. The crisis served as a magnifying glass, revealing both weaknesses and strengths. What will remain after the virus? There will be no taboos, and no going back to the pre-Covid era.
- What areas need work in order to do business more resiliently?
- What will the "New Normal" look like in terms of planning, once focused strategic action becomes possible again?
- What will be the strategies and guidelines – old and new – for the future?
- Advertising, design and packaging: How will marketing, ecologically friendly design and packaging evolve in the "New Normal"?
- How can the organic farming system be organised more resiliently, with regional, national and international supply chains?
- We would never have expected the Internet and the use of digital solutions to become such an unquestioned part of our daily routines so quickly. What remains that can be applied constructively for the post-pandemic era?
- What opportunities does digitalisation open up for the organic products industry – for example in monitoring and certification?
"Shaping Transformation. Stronger. Together." is the focal theme for the 2021 Congress. Transformation means change – change in companies, in government policy, and even in our private lives. The theme for the 2021 Congress could not have been better chosen for the post-coronavirus era!
We’re looking forward to inspiring discussions and presentations.
The pandemic has put specialty retailers under special strain. They’ve done an extraordinary job. Klaus Braun’s sales barometer showed a 32 per cent gain in specialty retail in March. The sector had to respond flexibly, fast and creatively. It set up hygiene concepts, obeyed distancing rules, filled shelves, overcame supply bottlenecks, and implemented the temporary VAT reduction. That called for an immense, communal outpouring of effort.
What’s ahead? What will remain? What changes will grow out of the crisis? The Forum Fachhandel in Hall 9 will take up current issues and discuss how organic specialty retailers can turn them successfully to advantage:
- The organic shop as a brand: How can we achieve connection and close relations in a time of social distancing?
- Sustainability and protecting the climate have lost none of their urgency as goals, yet the public has lost track of them. How can we communicate that organic is good for us all – good for the climate and species diversity?
- How can we rebuild a good collaborative environment with colleagues, employees, suppliers, buyers and customers?
- What will become of the delivery services that were set up in short order, and the organic bistros that were necessarily shut down?
- What answers do experts and specialty retailers have for the public’s great desire for regional character – which the pandemic has only strengthened?
- What responses does specialty retail have to the idea that "digitalisation" has now finally become firmly established, and what will be a good way to deal with online retail, which has suddenly become so strong?
- The coronavirus has turned eating habits upside down. People are buying more healthy organic foods and gone back to eating more at home. Specialty retailers have profited – but possibly only for the short term. Grocery chains and discounters are also positioning themselves massively in organic foods, and expanding the ranges they carry. How can specialty retailers hold their own amid these pressures?
- Faced with shorter work schedules and the fear of a recession, how can organic specialty retailers position themselves as ambassadors for a qualitative evolution toward greater sustainability, while still remaining attractively priced?
Forum Fachhandel is a platform for dialoguing and exchanging experiences. We invite you to work up topics by and for practitioners, and also to bring in initiators from outside.
Sustainability has many faces, and the pandemic has shown us yet again that doing business on a one-dimensional basis is a dead end. How can we consistently do business sustainably, consistently apply the "polluter pays" principle, and take responsibility for the environment and the coming generations?
Covid-19 poses the risk that what has already been achieved may be called into question on the basis of unilateral economic interests. That’s why the organic products industry has an even greater responsibility to take advantage of the post-pandemic "New Normal" as an engine for greater sustainability.
The coronavirus crisis has shown that a stable supply of basic necessities can be ensured only with reliable, robust supply chains. How can supply chains be organised resiliently, taking account of all aspects of sustainability (social, ecological and economic)?
Protection for the environment, nature and the climate must be reinforced now more than ever. Reducing CO2, conserving resources (like soil, water, fossil energy sources), climate protection, species diversity, treating employees and suppliers fairly – all of these are topics that must be taken into account in a systematic focus on sustainability.
What kind of innovative strength has organic agriculture found for sustainable food production that will respect the limitations of our planet and safeguard it for future generations?
Where are there deficits? How does the current system need to evolve further so that organic practices finally become socially and politically viable as the future model for sustainable agriculture?
How can (new) alliances be forged to fight collectively for sustainability under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?
There’s a wide range of topics. Let’s get together and help design a sustainable future, and discuss it together at the Sustainability Forum at BIOFACH.
The Politics Forum generates awareness of the topics that quite specifically deal with shaping the regulatory environment for the ecological food industry. Operators in the industry, government policymakers and representatives of state agencies are invited to discuss their positions. After all, one thing is clear – whether as a farmer, manufacturer, importer, dealer, crafts worker or specialty retailer, everybody needs a stable, reliable regulatory environment so they can face the challenges of the future.
But what conditions are additionally needed so that agriculture and food production can be transformed in such a way as to achieve sustainability goals, doing business in harmony with global resources and within our planet’s limitations?
You can expect critical, controversial, constructive discussions on current political issues that will affect the organic products industry after the pandemic and beyond.
Covid-19 has shown that science can be the yardstick for political action. Expert knowledge is needed more than ever, including because the problems to be solved are getting more and more complex. There are enough scientific studies that show the benefits of ecological farming for the environment, the climate, and species diversity. But – organically based practices also have a wealth of questions that science needs to answer in order for the sector to achieve its full potential.
The Science Forum offers a platform for dialogue among scientists, practitioners and consultants. Research projects must be adapted to practical conditions, research results must be communicated and discussed with the industry. What are the implications of research results, and how can they be put into practice?
What’s needed is discussions about issues and research results in agriculture, processing, commerce, food quality and marketing.