News highlighting FiBL’s research, training and advisory services

FiBL Newsletter March 2019

Contents

1 News

1.1 Organic farming mitigates climate change
1.2 Global organic area reaches another all-time high – Nearly 70 million hectares of farmland are organic
1.3 European organic market grew to more than 37 billion euros in 2017
1.4 Towards improved sustainability of palm oil – Can organic certification boost positive environmental and social impact of palm oil?
1.5 Towards improved food security in mountain areas with nutrition-sensitive agriculture
1.6 Study: Smallholder farmers in groups with various advantages
1.7 Sharing knowledge and tools for organic farming - Organic Farm Knowledge platform has new design and content
1.8 The Contribution of Organic Agriculture to the SDGs: Scientific evidence from comparative research
1.9 International workshop on the comparison of organic and conventional agricultural cropping systems
1.10 International Conference on Organic Agricultural Sciences ICOAS successfully held for the first time in Austria
1.11 Product submissions for the Input list 2020 now possible

2 Publications and videos

2.1 Activity report: Research and development in and for the field
2.2 New publication on organic crop cultivation with FiBL input
2.3 New publication on organic animal farming with FiBL input
2.4 Handbook for organic pig producers now available in Dutch

3 Events

1 News

1.1 Organic farming mitigates climate change

Long-term organically farmed soils emit 40 percent less greenhouse gases per hectare than conventionally farmed soils. The amount of emitted gas is also lower per ton of yield or - in the case of maize cultivation - equal. This is the result of a study carried out as part of the DOK long-term field experiment. The study was led by Dr Andreas Gattinger, a former FiBL researcher, who is now a professor at Giessen University. The results were recently published in the online edition of the scientific journal "Scientific Reports".

> www.fibl.org/en/service-en/news-archive/news/article/dok-versuch-zeigt-biolandbau-mindert-klimawandel.html

1.2 Global organic area reaches another all-time high – Nearly 70 million hectares of farmland are organic

The year 2017 was another record year for global organic agriculture. According to the 2018 edition of the study "The World of Organic Agriculture" (data per end of 2017), published by FiBL and IFOAM – Organics International, the organic farmland increased substantially. The number of organic producers and organic retail sales also continued to grow, reaching another all-time high, as shown by the data from 181 countries.

> www.fibl.org/en/media/media-archive/media-release/article/globale-biolandbauflaeche-mit-neuem-allzeithoch-fast-70-millionen-hektar-werden-biologisch-bewirtsc.html

1.3 European organic market grew to more than 37 billion euros in 2017

The organic market in Europe continues to grow. In 2017, it increased by almost 11 percent and reached 37.3 billion euros. Many of the major markets enjoyed double-digit growth rates. At BIOFACH, the world’s leading trade fair for organic food, FiBL, the Agricultural Market Information Company (AMI) and partners presented the 2017 data of the European organic sector.

> www.fibl.org/en/media/media-archive/media-release/article/bio-in-europa-waechst-weiter-biomarkt-bei-ueber-37-milliarden-euro.html

1.4 Towards improved sustainability of palm oil – Can organic certification boost positive environmental and social impact of palm oil?

Palm oil production has more than doubled over the past ten years. Today, palm oil is the most used plant-based oil worldwide. Yet, as the fast expansion of palm oil in many cases goes hand in hand with deforestation, biodiversity losses and land tenure conflicts, the question is if palm oil is indeed more sustainable when organically produced? FiBL has researched this question in an analysis project.

> www.fibl.org/en/media/media-archive/media-release/article/auf-dem-weg-zu-einer-besseren-nachhaltigkeit-von-palmoel-kann-die-biozertifizierung-positive-oekolog.html

1.5 Towards improved food security in mountain areas with nutrition-sensitive agriculture

Insights from the project "Nutrition in Mountain Agro-ecosystems", implemented by IFOAM – Organics International, Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation and FiBL, were published in the latest issue of Mountain Research and Development Journal.

> www.fibl.org/en/service-en/news-archive/news/article/towards-improved-food-security-in-mountain-areas-with-nutrition-sensitive-agriculture.html

1.6 Study: Smallholder farmers in groups with various advantages

About 80 % of the world’s organic producers are smallholders in low- and middle-income countries. They are usually certified together as part of producer groups. This is the result of a recent study conducted by FiBL in the framework of the SECO-funded project "Consolidation of Organic Certification Bodies / ConsCert".

> www.fibl.org/en/media/media-archive/media-release/article/studie-kleinbauern-in-gruppen-sind-im-vorteil-neue-fibl-studie-zu-relevanz-chancen-und-herausfor.html

1.7 Sharing knowledge and tools for organic farming - Organic Farm Knowledge platform has new design and content

The Organic Farm Knowledge platform hosts a wide range of practical knowledge and tools for organic farmers and advisers that help improve farming practices. A new version of the online platform covering more themes and a new design was launched at the Science Day at BIOFACH 2019. FiBL is one of the core partners of the platform.

> www.fibl.org/en/service-en/news-archive/news/article/sharing-knowledge-and-tools-for-organic-farming-organic-farm-knowledge-platform-has-new-design-and.html

1.8 The Contribution of Organic Agriculture to the SDGs: Scientific evidence from comparative research

Comparative research shows that organic agriculture has great potential to improve economic, environmental and social conditions in rural areas in low-income countries. The time has come for international stakeholders and donors to take a stance on unlocking this potential and to support organic agriculture and other agro-ecological approaches worldwide as a means of achieving the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). At a recent workshop held by FiBL, the benefits of organic agriculture in the light of the SDGs were explored.

> www.fibl.org/en/media/media-archive/media-release/article/the-contribution-of-organic-agriculture-to-the-sdgs-scientific-evidence-from-comparative-research-1.html

1.9 International workshop on the comparison of organic and conventional agricultural cropping systems

What can be learned from the DOK and other long-term trials? These and other questions will be discussed during a workshop from 6 to 10 October 2019 in Ascona, Switzerland. Researchers from FiBL and other organisations want to show the potential of long-term experiments with regard to the sustainability of agricultural systems.

> www.fibl.org/en/service-en/news-archive/news/article/internationaler-workshop-zum-vergleich-biologischer-und-konventioneller-anbausysteme-in-der-landwirt.html

1.10 International Conference on Organic Agricultural Sciences ICOAS successfully held for the first time in Austria

For the first time the "6th International Conference on Organic Agriculture Sciences (ICOAS)" was held in Austria at the end of 2018. High-level international experts met at Esterházy Palace, Eisenstadt, to exchange knowledge and experiences from different areas of organic production. The event was co-organized by FiBL.

>https://www.fibl.org/en/service-en/news-archive/news/article/internationale-bio-konferenz-icoas-erfolgreich-erstmals-in-oesterreich-abgehalten.html

1.11 Product submissions for the Input list 2020 now possible

Since end of March 2019, producers and distributors of inputs can register their products for the "Input list for organic farming 2020". The product registrations will be evaluated by the experts team of FiBL regarding their suitability in organic farming.

> www.fibl.org/en/media/media-archive/media-release/article/produktanmeldungen-fuer-betriebsmittelliste-2020-ab-sofort-moeglich.html

2 Publications and videos

2.1 Activity report: Research and development in and for the field

High-tech is becoming part of organic farming, as the new FiBL Activity Report shows: GPS-controlled hoeing systems keep the weeds in sugar beets at bay, multi-spectral cameras measure the welfare of pigs and a new app leads through the spade test in the field step by step. In the 2018 Activity Report, you can also read why organic can feed the world, how the health of young animals is promoted, which new fertilisers and animal feeds from recycled raw materials are being researched and how plant extracts and wild flowers can serve as alternatives to biopesticides.

> www.fibl.org/en/service-en/news-archive/news/article/forschen-und-entwickeln-mit-der-praxis-fuer-die-praxis.html

2.2 New publication on organic crop cultivation with FiBL input

Organic crop cultivation needs to improve yields if it is to expand its share of agricultural production. A new collection reviews ways of addressing this challenge, from developing better varieties to ways of improving crop nutrition and pest control. Several FiBL experts on the topic are featured in the publication.

> www.fibl.org/en/service-en/news-archive/news/article/new-publication-improving-organic-crop-cultivation-with-fibl-involvement.html

2.3 New publication on organic animal farming with FiBL input

A new book with contributions from several FiBL authors explores how organic animal production can be further developed to contribute to protecting our natural resources for the future whilst maintaining the highest ethical standards, as well as providing global food security and sovereignty – goals that are embedded in the organic principles.

> www.fibl.org/en/service-en/news-archive/news/article/improving-organic-animal-farming.html

2.4 Handbook for organic pig producers now available in Dutch

The Dutch handbook on improving health and welfare of pigs summarizes the expertise of farmers, consultants, scientists and technical literature for maintaining the health of pigs. It can be downloaded for free in the FiBL online shop.

> www.fibl.org/en/service-en/news-archive/news/article/handbook-for-organic-pig-producers-now-available-in-dutch.html

3 Events

European Conference on Crop Diversification

18.09.2019 - 21.09.2019

Budapest, Hungary

> www.fibl.org/en/service-en/news-archive/news/article/europaeische-konferenz-zu-anbaudiversifizierung-2019.html

International workshop on the comparison of organic and conventional agricultural cropping systems

FiBL events in other languages

FiBL events in other languages can be viewed at

> www.fibl.org/en/service-en/events.html

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> New FiBL publications in the Organic Eprints archive: www.fibl.org/en/fibl/themes/publications.html and FiBL homepage: www.fibl.org/en/homepage.html, below the news.

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> www.fibl.org/en/about-us/donate.html

 

Yours sincerely,
Helga Willer and Andreas Basler
---------------------------------------------------------------
Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL
Ackerstrasse 113 / Postfach 219
CH-5070 Frick
Phone +41 62 865-7272
Fax +41 62 865-7273
E-mail newsletter@fibl.org
Internet www.fibl.org


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