ÖMKi participated as exhibitor in the BioFach and Vivaness 2014 fair, the world’s biggest organic trade show. This was the second year in a row that ÖMKi represented organic agriculture as part of the offical Hungarian country booth. Around 42,000 guests from 134 countries visited Nuremberg between the 12th and 15th of February 2014 to see the 2235 exhibitors and be attend the diversified conferences. The most exciting programmes were the programs on ’Organic 3.0’, discussing the development and future prospects of the organic sector.
Organic agriculture, what we might call 1.0, was established by pioneering professionals living and working in different parts of the world but the sector has seen extraordinary development over the past few decades (Organic 2.0). Still, today the world’s food production is unsustainable. Although 2014 was pronounced ’the year of family farming’ by the UN, small-scale and family farming is less and less important in many places. Rural areas in many countries are characterized by poverty, social injustice and hunger, referred to frequently as smallholder agriculture and agriculture in general has become a major contributor to climate change and the loss of biodiversity.Organic 3.0 looks at the strategies and course of innovation needed to bring organic agriculture in line with our current understandings of economics, social innovation and needs, but most importantly, solving large scale environmental and food production problems: the foundation goals of Organic 1.0, feeding people healthy and nutritious food while preserving the national resources to do so indefinately.
BioFach celebrated its 25th anniversary this year, so there was a special opening ceremony and gala evening with a re-designed appearance for the event’s. The International Organic Universe was represented by family businesses, big companies, organizations dealing with controlling, certifying and safeguarding of interest, universities, and research institutes in eight big pavilons. Tasting stands featuring wine, cheese, fish, coffee, and olive oil were highlighted.
Colleagues from ÖMKi presented the newest Hungarian research results and publications on the collective stand organized by AMC. We had many conversations and contacts about future cooperations, both internationally and nationally. In addition to ÖMKi, 15 other Hungarian exhibitor shared the 100 m2 Hungarian stand.
One novelty of BioFach was the Ukrainian communal stand near us. In Ukraine the organic farming law was passed just last year. The number of organic farmers in Ukraine tripled in the past three years. There are Now 200 organic farmers in the country. The scale of these farms is quite different that we are accustomed to in Europe: one exhibitor alone represented 48,000 hectares of excellent organic arable fields!
Ukrainian organic agriculture was one of the subjects of the congress programme ÖMKi organized for a the third time. In the Central and Eastern Europe Section of BioFach Congress. Invited speakerspresented on the latest developments in the region’s organic agriculture. Presenters represented the Slovenian Sustainable Development Institute (Anamarija Slabe), the Czech Bioinstitut Olomouc (Jiri Urban), the Ukrainian organic market development project team of FiBL (Natalie Prokopchuk), the Polish Ministry for Agriculture and Rural Development (Michal Rzytki), the EkoConnect Society being specialized for Eastern European countries (Inka Sachse), and ÖMKi (Dr. Dóra Drexler). The event was moderated by the Director of Swiss FiBL, Prof. Dr. Urs Niggli. To download summaries of the presentatons click HERE. For slides of the presentations click HERE.
On the opening day of BioFach, the European Group of IFOAM had a general meeting for election of officials. Participants voted for new members of the advisory council and a new bicameral structure. For details click HERE.
In cooperation with our partner institute FiBL Switzerland, IFOAM published the annual World of Organic Agriculture. By summarizing statistic data from 2012, the publication shows the unbroken boom of organic sector. A novelty was a separate special publication about Europe, Organic Agriculture in Europe. ÖMKi wrote the introduction to the Hungarian organic sector for both publications.
The next BioFach will be between 11th and 14th February 2015, the special guest will be the Netherlands.