The theme of the upcoming BIOFACH congress (14 to 17 February 2023) is ‘Organic. Food sovereignty. Real prices’. After the one-off summer edition of BIOFACH and VIVANESS in July 2022, in February 2023 the international community of organic food, natural and organic cosmetics will meet again in person to kick off the year at the Nuremberg exhibition center. The BIOFACH Congress will focus on two key questions: How do organic products contribute to food security and sovereignty, and how do ‘true prices’ – prices that include all organic costs – pave the way for the necessary transformation of the food and agri-food industry?
Tina Andres, President of BÖLW: “To further expand the contribution of organic products to sustainability and thus succeed in the transformation of the food industry as a whole, the market failure in the use of organic products must finally come to an end . organic resources. Only “true prices” will allow business to be conducted within the limits our planet can support, leading to the success of a food and agriculture industry truly fit to serve our grandchildren. International organizations and governments must make the most of the potential of Organic farming.”
She adds: “Current food prices turn the ‘polluter pays’ principle on its head, making environmentally damaging products appear ‘cheaper’ than they really are. So organic food, which offers a more reasonable cost price, is at a disadvantage. Which means , that you can still make a profit by doing business conventionally – even if it undermines the very foundation of life for future generations The major market failure in food must be remedied with new systems for calculation, taxation and support We want to discuss how this can achieved per Congress.”
Marco Schlüter, Managing Director of IFOAM Organics International: “Organic practices have clearly demonstrated their ability to provide solutions and ensure a safe, sovereign food supply, as this sustainable way of doing business strengthens farmers’ autonomy and creates added value on a regional basis. The contributions of the ecological system to strengthen a safe, sovereign food supply in all regions of the world will also be discussed at the BIOFACH Congress in 2023 in the light of current crises.”
Superb and safe
According to the organizers of the BIOFACH congress, the rising prices of energy and food show how fatal it is to be dependent on fossil fuel-based fertilizers. “Meat production in the northern hemisphere is not aligned with the available grazing space and also contributes to the increased hunger in the southern part. Therefore, we need to start raising livestock based on the available space. Planting coffee or cocoa in agroforestry systems shows how much potential biological techniques offer to actively protect the climate. In addition, supply chains that are too long, and thus particularly vulnerable to disruptions in times of crisis, prove the importance of stable, regional value chains.”
Real prices can remedy market failures and facilitate transformation
Ninety billion euros – that’s how much agriculture in Germany damages the public interest, according to the organizers, which is not reflected in the food price. This is shown by a study by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and the final report by the Commission for the Future of Agriculture (ZKL) from the German Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL). “The cost is many times the added value of the industry. The organic food industry can largely avoid this damage because it does business in a way that conserves resources.”
The disruptions from the COVID-19 crisis, the consequences of the war in Ukraine, the energy crisis, the consequences of the climate crisis and the extinction of species – all these are increasing social and economic tensions around the world. “However, organic products make the food supply more secure thanks to their closed-loop economy, less dependence on external inputs and strong regional value chains. By operating in a resource-saving way, organic methods increase biodiversity, increase soil fertility and protect the climate, resulting in resilient cropping systems and food sovereignty .”
The main theme of the BIOFACH Congress is organized every year jointly by IFOAM Organics International, BÖLW and BIOFACH.
For more information: www.biofach.de