OF&G joins call for greater organic support from global leaders

Date Published: 20/10/2017

IFOAM director Eduardo Cuoco addressing organic leaders in Bergamo

Organic agriculture needs to drive more support and engagement to help the sector create regenerative and resilient food and farming systems both in the UK and across the world.

OF&G told global leaders in organic agriculture that organic has the potential to transform the UK’s farming systems, making them more sustainable and productive.

But it said disparities in the food and farming industry need to be addressed to give organic producers the tools they need to drive the sector forward.

Speaking at a side event of the G7 Agriculture meeting in Bergamo, Italy, OF&G Business Development Manager Steven Jacobs said in the face of climate and price volatility, organic farming offered sustainable solutions to the global challenge of producing more food.

But with organic production lagging behind demand in the UK, more needed to be done to create stronger links across the chain, from consumers to policy makers and farmers, to encourage more producers to get involved with the sector.

Regenerative farming systems

He said OF&G was working to address some of those challenges by engaging with policy makers and the public, working with research organisations to create networks and share information, and supporting supply networks through innovative events and projects.

But he said there was still more to be done to help ensure producers can deliver a more regenerative farming system, particularly in the UK where Brexit is creating an unknown future.

“Government support is a key element that organic food businesses rely upon,” he told the event.

“The environmental stewardship payments received help to cover much of the cost of putting in measures that protect and enhance the natural landscape.

“Environmental stewardship also offers a mechanism whereby the farmers open their farm gates and show their efforts including through educational and disabled group access.

“Ensuring we have support there in future is going to be key to helping the sector achieve its goals.”

The G7 organic agriculture meeting saw sector leaders representing more than 20 countries gather to discuss the ‘Organic Charter of Bergamo’, which aims to focus on the tools the sector needs to help transform the world’s farming systems.