How should organic production be developed to play a significant role in the sustainable food system of the future?
That is the central issue in EPOK's report, "The next step for organic farming in Sweden - Reflections from dialogue conversations".
The report is based on a series of dialogue talks such as EPOCH conducted in 2016 and 2017 with a number of different actors in organic farming. Participants included producers, advisors, breeders, authorities, researchers, certification bodies and environmental organizations. The various actors were given the task of talking openly about challenges in organic farming in Sweden as well as about ifoam extensions future vision “Organic 3.0”.
According to EPOK, "Organic 3.0" aims to "enable the diffusion of truly sustainable agricultural systems and markets, based on ecological principles and permeated by a culture of innovation, by gradual improvement towards best practices, by transparency and trust, by inclusive collaborations, by holistic systems, and pricing that corresponds to the true value of the product ”.
The goal of “Organic 3.0” is also to increase the size of organic production, increase the pace of change so that it matches demand, and to improve the current certification system.
Some of the key issues raised during the dialogue were:
- The multifunctional production system of the future
- Circular systems - cycles of plant nutrients
- New technique
- Increased conversion
- Tomorrow's producers and markets
- Instruments for sustainable agriculture
In addition, new and alternative markets were discussed, for example to reduce the distance between producer and consumer in various ways through digital solutions. An example that the report highlights is how e-commerce in the Netherlands has benefited the organic segment. The reason is considered to be the more equal exposure that organic products receive online compared to in physical stores where conventional goods dominate. An alternative form of marketing that was also mentioned was Reko-rings where producers announce offers and prices in a closed Facebook group where consumers can also place orders and then pick up their goods at the next sales opportunity.
In conclusion, the report authors reason about the challenge of communicating sustainability in the food industry and about the complexity of the food system in general. More specifically, the authors emphasize that the participants in the dialogue discussions felt that there was a need to strengthen the link between consumption and production in order to highlight the benefits of organic. This is a communicative challenge as well Organic Sweden gladly take us on together with our members.
Read the full report here: The next step for organic farming in Sweden - Reflections from dialogue conversations.