For the next round of the World´s Leading Trade Fair for Organic Food from 17 to 20 February 2021, the BIOFACH Congress has announced its main theme: ‘Shaping Transformation. Stronger. Together.’ The congress will be focusing on how the food system revolution can make even more progress if the various movements for transformational change work together. The congress is being put together by IFOAM – Organics International, the international patron of BIOFACH World, and BÖLW (German Federation of Organic Food Producers), the national institutional sponsor, in partnership with BIOFACH. “Stronger. Together.” still applies especially in the current unusual circumstances. With more than six months to go before the next pairing of the BIOFACH and VIVANESS trade fairs, the sector is demonstrating outstanding commitment to its annual central sector gathering.
Danila Brunner, Executive Director BIOFACH and VIVANESS, comments: “This trade fair pairing is the central platform for the organic food products and natural organic and personal care sector to interact, share knowledge and do business, especially at times like these. We are currently pulling out all the stops to prepare for the next combined event in 2021. That includes many measures to ensure the greatest possible safety for all participants, based on the special hygiene plans developed for this trade fair pairing (www.biofach.de/hygieneconcept and www.vivaness.de/hygieneconcept). We are confident that this will enable us to offer all our customers both safety and the level of success they know and appreciate from previous sector gatherings at BIOFACH and VIVANESS.
“In the current situation we have been very impressed by the many ways in which the sector is already showing us the depth of its solidarity and commitment. We are very happy that exhibitors have already booked
75 percent of the available exhibition space. That shows us just how valuable and important they consider their annual sector gathering to be. We are already looking forward to catching up again with exhibitors, visitors and media representatives at the next combined event in 2021.”
All eyes on 2021 for the BIOFACH Congress: Shaping Transformation. Stronger. Together.
For decades, organic farming has been shaping the transformation of the agriculture and food industry. Through their own standards, organic farmers, food producers and retailers have created a way of doing business within binding rules that respect the earth’s ecological breaking points. At crucial points, organic principles have laid the foundations for a resilient way of doing business that is in tune with the global resources available and the limits of what the planet can take. For example, organically farmed areas can only have as many animals on them as soil and water can sustain. Harmful substances or questionable technologies like synthetic chemical pesticides or genetic modification are not used, from the field through to the plate. Consumers of organic products also tend to make healthy nutritional choices based on sustainability, for example because they use more fresh ingredients in their cooking and eat less meat.
Achieving sustainability goals through the organic system
The global community will only eradicate hunger and reach its climate, environmental and other sustainability goals if agriculture, food production and the way we eat are permanently transformed on a wide scale and at local level. This kind of food revolution has to be ecological, fair, mainly plant-based with minimal processing, regional and therefore resilient, and not just in times of crisis. The objectives for sustainable development specified by the international community of nations (UN Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs) in its Agenda 2030 directly or indirectly affect nutrition and food production.
Collective strength grows out of common goals
“Many different movements worldwide, that are initiating, supporting and pushing the transformation in line with the SGDs of industry and society, are working in the same direction as the organic movement. They include consumer protection agencies, environmental associations, trade unions, churches, gender, regional initiatives and citizens’ action groups, de-growth or development organisations or climate activists like Fridays for Future. Although there are distinct differences between our movements, for example in the way we want to achieve a sustainable future for the next generations, or which steps we regard as most urgent, our collective strength grows out of our common goals. So that we can identify and leverage our potentials, we need to acknowledge how large and diverse our movement is,” says Felix Prinz zu Löwenstein, the Chairman of BÖLW.
In good company
Louise Luttikholt, Executive Director IFOAM – Organics International: “The organic movement is in good company today and this does boost the process of transformation. However, in view of our enormous challenges, from species extinction to climate crisis and plant breeding research, the things that still set our movements apart must not be allowed to hinder the shift towards an agriculture and food system that is fit for future generations. This is why it is important for our various movements to get to know and mutually strengthen one another and become aware of the respective stances and stakeholders associated with each group. We are sure to do this best when we start with our respective situations and approaches and work together to shape the transformation journey.”
“When we discuss this topic at BIOFACH 2021 we would like to show where the organic system is formative as part of the entire sustainability movement and helps shape it, and equally important, we want to get to know and understand the whole diversity of all the movements so as to have more impact in our dialogue with one another,” Louise Luttikholt continues.
Spotlight topics on main congress theme for BIOFACH 2021
1. I say: animal welfare, you say: climate change, Do we all say: organic? Why we have more in common than that which divides us, what exactly that means and how we can support one another more effectively.
2. My superpower: organic. Here’s what you get in the organic production standard, from the field to the plate. Get to know us!
3. Dialogue: What I always wanted to tell you! FAQs from activists to activists: what sets you apart, what you always wanted to know, what you find great and what gets on your nerves.
4. Look and learn: lobbying work, campaigning, framing, networks and everything else a “transformer” needs.
5. Hello neighbour! Get to know the ecological players near you, for a strong regional network.
6. A strong image: In some regions and states the organic movement has already managed to establish strong (political) representation for the sector. What’s the benefit of this and how do you do it?