AUSTRALIA will next week launch a bid to host the next Organic World Congress, to be held in 2020.
A delegation including certified organic beef supply chain manager Simone Tully, from Australian Organic Meats, will leave for Delhi, India on November 9 to present Australia’s bid for the next event, convened by the International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movements (IFOAM).
No less than ten countries are mounting bids to host the next three-yearly congress, the most important organics industry gathering in the world. Australia last hosted the event 15 years ago, but much has changed since then, especially in the production of organic products like beef, where Australia is now easily the world leader, representing more than half of the world’s organically certified farmland (see earlier report).
Australian farmland area devoted to organic production has increased fourfold since 2002, and has increased by 23pc or more than five million hectares between 2014 and 2016, a recent report estimated.
The area of land under certified organic management (in-conversion and fully certified organic) in Australia in 2016 was estimated at 27 million ha – representing 53pc of the world’s total organically-certified farmland. Most of the area under certified organic management in Australia is in the rangelands or pastoral zones, dominated by beef production.
Australia’s bid for the 2020 World Organics Congress is being widely supported by other countries across the Asia Pacific region.
“Our bid is competitive, rigorous and well-represented by industry,” Simone Tully said.
“The increasing level of global interest in the organic industry is reflected in such a strong field of countries vying to host the event,” she said.
Partners in the bid include Meat & Livestock Australia, the NSW Government and Business Events Sydney, with support from the Federal Government. The bid is being led by the Organic Federation of Australia, the National Association for Sustainable Agriculture, leading certifiers, exporters and researchers.
Due to the rise in interest in the organic food sector, around 2000 delegates including farmers, marketers, researchers, policy experts and advocates are expected to attend next week’s 2017 event.
“There is a lot of momentum and goodwill amongst industry bodies currently so we really hope we can come back with a win for Sydney for 2020, which would be well-timed to match our exploding demand for organic products in the Asian Century,” Ms Tully said.
“However we recognise that more work must be done in Australia on market access, equivalence, R&D, governance, and to continue to communicate our best practice locally, and globally,” she said.
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