Organic movement in the future: Organic 3.0

Organic is due for vacation, this was contained in a recent discussion paper released by the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) at the International Organic Exposition which took place in Goesan, Korea in October. The report, Organic 3.0: ‘Achieving a True Farming and Consumption Sustainability’, suggests a worldwide launch of a new era of the organic movement.

From the visionary era of organic agriculture in the early 20th century former called Organic 1.0 to the acceptance of industry regulation and certification which began from the 1970s till date, now called Organic 2.0:
‘The Movement towards Sustainable Food Systems’, has enjoyed tremendous growth and success. By 2015, 82 countries had already implemented the regulations for organic food systems. By 2013, the global market value for organic food was calculated to be US$72 billion as at 2013.

Despite these achievements, organic agriculture now represents less than 1% of global land and food production. The report of the IFOAM is of the opinion that the world must now enter into a new organic, as contained in Organic 3.0, which would address and resolve deficiencies of the current movement.

The main aim of Organic 3.0 is; ‘to push out organic agriculture out of its current “abode” role, make organic practices accepted by all throughout all nodes of the supply chain’.

Organic 3.0 suggests a global effort towards positioning organic farming as a fresh, innovative system which places the outcomes and impacts of the farming as frontier.

The report has frequently emphasized on the idea of “true sustainability,” stating that current organic systems find it hard to address issues like fair pricing, new farming technologies and the importance of subsistent, non-certified farmers.

Organic 3.0 sets out six key features with associated operational objectives to help the vision of Organic 3.0 move toward action:

1. A culture of innovation

2. Continuous improvement towards best practice

3. Diverse ways to ensure transparent integrity

4. Inclusive of wider sustainability interests

5. Holistic empowerment from farm to final consumer

6. True value and fair pricing

The IFOAM report proposes to create this shift by “repositioning organic as a process.” In other words, organic must reach further than the certified organic label on a bag of grocery store carrots. Organic 3.0 aims to address inherent, but hard-to-quantify issues of fair labor practices, transparency of value chains, price distortion, gender equity, appropriate technologies and ecologically-sound stewardship practices.

The ideas presented in the IFOAM report, intended to “inspire and fuel the debate about the future of organic agriculture,” will be reviewed, amended, and formed into proposals to be approved by a virtual assembly of organic movement leaders in late 2016.

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