A look to the future: BIOFACH Congress illuminates scenarios and opportunities on the path to climate neutrality
What do hemp and millet have in common? Both plants are celebrating a kind of renaissance based on their nutritional value and robustness. And both are the subject of separate presentations at the World's Leading Fair for Organic Food. What is the magic formula for resilient food production? Is it a return to tried and tested varieties and growing methods? Or are there trends in the organic sector that would have been unimaginable only a few years ago? In any case, the Congress programme provides insights into an optimistic and climate-neutral future as well as a forum for determining what basic conditions will be necessary along the way.
In seven different forums (Specialized Trade, Policy, Science, Agriculture, Sustainability, BIOFACH and VIVANESS), some 130 presentations offer inspiration for embarking on the road to a climate-neutral world. “The organic system is already providing future-driven solutions for a sustainable transformation of our eating culture that it’s our job to promote in the coming years. This year’s Congress will motivate, inspire, visualize the future and concretely address policy demands. We have to lay the groundwork for redesigning agriculture now, a redesign that will lead to more food sovereignty and less input based on fossil fuels, to more resilience, a circular economy and strong regional value chains, to species-appropriate animal husbandry suited to the available land and plant production that doesn’t harm or pollute the soil or water. We already have the tools for the agriculture of the future and now we have to decide to use them,” says Tina Andres, Managing Director of BÖLW (German Federation of Organic Food Producers).
Specialized Trade forum highlights trade’s current tasks
The programme of the Specialized Trade forum provides a quick overview of the challenges facing trade today. Danila Brunner, Director Exhibitions BIOFACH and VIVANESS, summarizes the trade-specific contributions as follows: “Organic has made it to the centre of society, which is another reason why organic trade’s unique selling point is changing drastically. Now it’s all about perfecting our positioning and assortments, implementing communication strategies, training employees and taking important steps toward digitalization. The forum programme offers practical proposals for accomplishing these important tasks.”
A green future through the tried and tested?
The programme of the new Agriculture forum starts off with the above-mentioned millet (Hirse als Chance in Zeiten des Klimawandels = Millet as opportunity in a time of climate change, July 27 at 10:00 a.m in Hall Kiew). From cultivation, animal husbandry, and animal slaughter to organic certification and the issue of farm succession, the newly created forum offers comprehensive insights into the dimensions of modern organic agriculture.
The challenges on the way to achieving 30 percent organic land by 2030 are also discussed – a clear political goal associated with the German federal government’s “Mehr Zukunft wagen” (Dare to embrace the future) project. The Policy forum tackles this issue more than once. Does this require that villages be revitalized, that regional structures be strengthened or even that agricultural performance be measured in an innovative way that would reward organic farming’s services to society? How could these services be measured and remunerated? What are the effects of the new organic regulation and what will be the impact of the ongoing war in Ukraine?
Sustainability forum looks to the future
The programme of the Sustainability forum takes policy even further. All stakeholders still have to make a lot of progress if they’re to reach climate neutrality by 2045. The good news is that the forum offers plenty of inspiration. Whether the topic is ecological fair play, CO2 reduction in trade, true cost accounting, humus production, or climate cuisine, the speakers’ ideas, projects and experiences will stir things up and provide motivation for transformation or for the timely deployment of the tried and tested, such as millet and hemp.
The complete programme can be viewed at
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