Launch of IFOAM 2015 Annual Report
The International Federation for Organic Agriculture (IFOAM) recently launched its 2015 Annual Report . Into the Future reflects the journey towards the next phase of organic development – called Organic 3. The aim is to bring organic out of its current niche, a shift from ‘organic for the sake of organic’, and position organic systems as part of the multiple solutions needed to solve the many challenges the world faces.
2015 was a good year for IFOAM. As the President, Andre Leu, writes:
2015 was the International Year of the Soils. We have been actively involved in promoting the importance of healthy soils, especially by increasing the levels of soil organic matter.
2015 was also the year of the most important international climate change meeting in the history of our planet. IFOAM - Organics International actively participated in this meeting in Paris. We have been involved in every meeting since Copenhagen in 2009.
…. Just adopting renewable energy and stopping emission will not stop climate change. The current emissions will remain in the atmosphere for hundreds of years and will cause climate change to intensify further. We need to take these greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere. The best analogy is: If a boat is sinking we have to do more than just plug the leak – we have to bail out the water. We can ‘bail out’ the CO2 by using plants to capture it and then recycle it as organic matter in the soil. Published science shows that scaling up good practice organic systems will assist in increasing soil carbon and reversing climate change.
The report outlines some interesting facts and figures:
• There are 2.3 m organic producers in the world
• The country with the most organic producers is India, followed by Uganda and Mexico
• Australia has the largest land area devoted to organic growing: 17.2 m hectares
• There has been a 300% growth in organic production worldwide since 1999, indeed from 2014 to 2013 almost half a million more hectares were reported
• However only 1% of the world’s farmland is organic