New organic alliance to push for higher standards

Eight prominent organic organisations from across Europe have formed a new alliance to extend and strengthen organic standards and “deepen public understanding” of organic food and farming.

The  ‘Leading Organic Alliance’ is a collaboration between the Soil Association, Bio Austria (Austria), Bioforum (Belgium), CAAE (Spain), Debio (Norway), ICEA (Italy), KRAV (Sweden), and Naturland (Germany). A Memorandum of Understanding was formally signed on 16 February at Biofach 2011 in Nuremberg.

Francis Blake of the Soil Association (pictured) said: “All our organisations are deeply embedded in the organic movement with similar values and aspirations – we share a common vision of a truly organic world, as encapsulated in the IFOAM principles. However, we all face similar challenges and we recognise that we can achieve our shared aims more effectively by working together rather than separately.”

Lars Nellmer of KRAV said: “These challenges include the fact that the word ‘organic’ is defined by legislation. Whilst this is a good starting point, there is a considerable gap between this and what is genuinely organic in its deepest sense. We feel it is our responsibility to stay ahead of the legislation to encourage progress in the right direction and to help deepen the public understanding of organic.”

The Leading Organic Alliance welcomes other organisations, both from Europe and around the World, who are able to sign up to the memorandum of understanding.