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Otto Schmid
(Dipl.-Ing. Agr. ETH)

Department of Socio-Economic Sciences
FiBL
Ackerstrasse 113
CH-5070 Frick

Phone +41 (0)62 865-7272
Mobile +41 (0)79 359 09 01
Fax +41 (0)62 865-7273
otto.schmid(at)fibl.org

IFOAM Animal Husbandry Alliance (IAHA) at Organic World Congress in Istanbul

The Animal Husbandry Alliance (IAHA) of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) is an informal network of individuals and organizations interested in supporting and strengthening the development of organic animal husbandry within IFOAM. It started at the second IFOAM Animal Husbandry Conference in Hamburg (2012), supported by the IFOAM head office and the IFOAM World Board of directors. The Alliance organized a number of events at the IFOAM Organic World Congress in October in Istanbul and presented its Istanbul declaration.

IAHA Board members

The IAHA Steering Group members (from left to right): Chris Atkinson (UK), Mahesh Chander (India), Angela Escosteguy (Brazil), Otto Schmid (Switzerland), and François Labelle (Canada). Picture: FiBL

(November 04, 2014) 

During the 18th IFOAM Organic World Congress (OWC), in Istanbul, which took place from October 11-15, 2014, the IAHA organized a pre-conference on organic animal husbandry and a workshop session. The focus was on the drafting of an international action plan for the development and strengthening of organic animal husbandry from 2014-2017, based on an analysis of the development and research needs in different continents. The outcomes of this IAHA pre-conference and the workshop session at OWC - the proceedings and the Istanbul Declaration of the IFOAM Organic Animal Husbandry Alliance (IAHA) - can be downloaded from the IAHA Website for Weblinks see below).

IAHA action plan

At the General Assembly of IFOAM in Istanbul on the 16th and 17th of October 2014, a strongly-backed motion passed, stating that the IFOAM head office should support the IFOAM Animal Husbandry Alliance (IAHA) in developing and promoting an action plan for organic animal husbandry for 2014-2017 to better link the different stakeholders around the world. An effort should be made by the IFOAM board and head office to approach governments and non-governmental organizations linked to organic agriculture to find technical and financial resources to support the “Action Plan for the Development of Organic Animal Husbandry”.

The actions proposed are summarized in the abovementioned Istanbul Declaration of IAHA, which was distributed at the IFOAM General Assembly. Actions include:

  • To promote and support initiatives related to animal husbandry, including training and awards;
  • To include animal issues in events whenever possible;
  • To stimulate governments to establish public policies that strengthen organic animal production, in accordance with the organic principles;
  • To support the realization of the 3rd IFOAM Animal Husbandry Conference (2015 or 2016);
  • To include animals and animal products in advertising, conferences, and promotional material.

For Otto Schmid from the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) and chair of IAHA, the pre-conference and workshop at OWC 2014 was a real success, showing that “in the future, more importance must be given to animal husbandry and its system approach in the organic movement.”

About IAHA

As one of IFOAM's self-organized structures, IAHA has its own website a part of the IFOAM website. Since 2012, four thematic newsletters on organic animal husbandry have been sent out with different geographical focus areas: 1. Europe, 2. Latin America, 3. Asia, and 4. North America. The next newsletters, to come out in 2015, will be on developments in the Middle East and in Africa and on current themes.

Currently, approximately 140 persons receive the IAHA newsletter. Those who wish to  get involved should fill out the IAHA questionnaire in order to join the community and receive IAHA's newsletters; the questionnaire can be found on the IAHA website. A discussion forum has been running since June 2014 on animal breeding. Other discussion fora are planned: on animal welfare, alternative (complementary) medicine, and feeding strategies. Those interested in participating in the discussions should send an e-mail to iaha(at)ifoam.org.

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Otto Schmid

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