Recap from Food Nation’s Global Food Talk “Organic production and consumption – an important contribution to a sustainable global food system”
Food Nation hosted a Global Food Talk on February 11 with opening remarks from Henri Delanghe, Deputy Head of Unit (Organics), DG Agriculture and Rural Development, European Commission. The need to contribute to a sustainable global food system is becoming even more important and the organic production and consumption is central. Let’s recap some main takeaways from our speakers.
The entire speaker panel highlighted the crucial role of organic production and consumption to reach the green transition and to ensure biodiversity and a sustainable future. Collaboration and trust are key drivers to support the transition and to secure a stronger position for all. No matter where you are in the world, urgent actions are needed and we all play an important role to succeed.
Action plans are vital to ensure transformative change on the organic market
Boosting organic production and consumption requires the attention and actions from food producers to food supply chain stakeholders to food industries, retailers and consumers to ensure transformative change. The European Commission has set a goal to achieve 25% of agricultural land being farmed organically by 2030.
Henri Delanghe addressed the importance of demand and supply being in balance along the value chain if we are to succeed with the organic model. We need action plans to develop organic production and consumption in countries, and it is crucial that all action plans accommodate countries’ individual challenges and their circumstances.
Dare and just do it
In the first fireside session on how to stimulate growth and transformation towards more organic production and consumption, Rasmus Prehn, Minister of food, agriculture and fisheries and Poul Holmbeck, board member at IFOAM guested the studio.
The red organic label ‘Ø-mærket’ was addressed being a well-recognised label and a tool that pushes people to produce and consume more organically. More consumers tend to buy products with the organic label because it represents awareness of biodiversity, animal welfare and climate.
Paul Holmbech highlighted collaborative partnerships and knowledge sharing which play a vital role in the potential of the growth of organic production, sector development and innovation on the farm. Governments need to invest in the organic sector for it to increase and to work as a force of drivers to the sustainable future. Rasmus Prehn said: “Dare, and just do it. Be open towards ideas to drive the development further”.
Go knock on your neighbor’s door
The second fireside session was joined by Kræn Østergaard Nielsen, CEO at COOP Denmark and Hanne Søndergaard, CMO and EVP of Marketing, Innovation, Communication and Sustainability at Arla Foods, who discussed the business drivers and actions when going organic. Kræn Østergaard Nielsen said: “Do not wait. Anyone can start the coalition. Go knock on someone’s door and build momentum. You can not do it alone, but we can do it together”. Understanding the benefits of organic is crucial so people along the value chain are aware of the multiple aspects of how organic farming contributes to nature. The awareness needs to be dialed up, according to Hanne Søndergaard, whose final advice for leaders is to go for scale. There is a tendency that we aim for the niche, but we must go for scale to create impact.