News highlighting FiBL’s research, training and advisory services

FiBL Newsletter November 2017

Contents

1   Research

1.1 New study shows that organic farming can contribute to the world food supply
1.2 More microbes in organic soil
1.3 DiverIMPACTS: Promoting crop diversification in European agriculture - New project launched
1.4 Helping European agriculture to tackle water and nutrient limitations: New European project started
1.5 Launch of the ReMIX project: Redesigning European cropping systems based on species mixtures
1.6 FiBL Europe – Impressions, aims and vision

2   Other News

2.1 Twelfth Annual Biocontrol Industry Meeting held in Basel
2.2 New World Board of IFOAM - Organics International elected
2.3 Strategic cooperation between FiBL and the Organic Valley in China
2.4 Seed as a commons: Key for organic plant breeding - establishing alternatives to seed monopolies
2.5 Fraud prevention through verifying organic farming practices
2.6 FiBL and Indian Agricultural University sign MoU to embark on collaborative projects
2.7 Cotton is back in Haiti: New hope for farmers

3    Publications and videos

3.1 Video: First Organic Field Days at the Hessian State Domain Frankenhausen, Germany
3.2 Video: Tail biting in pigs - causes and prevention
3.3 Fact sheet on the life cycle assessment of organic foods
3.4 Website: Stay informed on current import requirements

4    Events

1 Research

1.1 New study shows that organic farming can contribute to the world food supply

A worldwide conversion to organic farming can contribute to a comprehensive and sustainable food system, if combined with further measures. Thus, it is important to reduce over-consumption of livestock products, to use less concentrated feed in livestock production and to avoid food waste. Such a food system has positive effects on important environmental aspects by curbing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing over-fertilisation and use of pesticides, and does not lead to a higher land use despite organic management. This was shown in a new study led by the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL, which has recently been published in the renowned scientific journal "Nature Communications".

> www.fibl.org/en/media/media-archive/media-archive17/media-release15/article/neue-studie-belegt-bio-kann-einen-wichtigen-beitrag-zur-welternaehrung-leisten.html

1.2 More microbes in organic soil

Soils in organic farming contain on average 59 percent more biomass from microorganisms, which are up to 84 percent more active compared to those in conventional farming. These were the findings of a global meta study by FiBL, which has recently been published in the academic journal PLOS ONE.

> www.fibl.org/en/media/media-archive/media-archive17/media-release15/article/mehr-mikroben-im-bioboden.html

1.3 DiverIMPACTS: Promoting crop diversification in European agriculture - New project launched

A major 5-year European project ˗ DiverIMPACTS ˗ was recently launched. The project will explore the full potential of diversifying arable cropping systems with the aim to provide improved agricultural productivity, resource efficiency and sustainable value chains.

> www.fibl.org/en/service-en/news-archive/news/article/mehr-anbaudiversitaet-auf-europaeischen-aeckern-neues-projekt-gestartet.html

1.4 Helping European agriculture to tackle water and nutrient limitations: New European project started

An ambitious 5-year project for the future of European agriculture – SolACE – was given an exciting start earlier this year. SolACE, which is funded under the European Union’s research and innovation programme Horizon 2020, will generate solutions that combine novel crop varieties and management innovations to improve water and nutrient use efficiency across Europe. FiBL is one of the project partners.

> www.fibl.org/en/service-en/news-archive/news/article/wie-bewaeltigt-die-europaeische-landwirtschaft-kuenftige-wasser-und-naehrstoffknappheit-neues-eu-proje.html

1.5 Launch of the ReMIX project: Redesigning European cropping systems based on species mixtures

EU agriculture needs to develop transition pathways towards agroecology-based, resilient and sustainable farming systems, combining the goals of ensuring productivity with achieving environmentally, economically and socially sustainable development. The recently launched ReMIX project, a 4-year EU-funded collaborative research programme, will exploit diversity in cropping systems through the use of species mixtures in order to support achieving the ambitious goal of feeding a raising global population while reducing the environmental impact of the current agricultural practices.

> www.fibl.org/en/service-en/news-archive/news/article/eu-projekt-untersucht-potenzial-der-mischkultur-fuer-europaeische-anbausysteme.html

1.6 FiBL Europe – Impressions, aims and vision

FiBL Europe, the new umbrella organisation of FiBL, inaugurated its new office in Brussels in July 2017. A short video gives insight into FiBL Europe’s vision and aims.

> www.fibl.org/en/service-en/news-archive/news/article/fibl-europe-eindruecke-vision-und-ziele.html

2 Other News

2.1 Twelfth Annual Biocontrol Industry Meeting held in Basel

Producers of biocontrol products did not always have a common meeting place. This changed in 2006, when the innovative idea to hold a congress for biocontrol products was realised. The vision of strengthening a fragmented sector consisting of small and medium-sized enterprises with limited resources became a success story: With over 1000 delegates and 500 companies from 52 countries, the conference celebrated a record number of visitors from 23 to 25 October in Basel, Switzerland. Since its inception, FiBL has been one of the co-organisers of the conference, together with the International Biocontrol Manufacturers Association IBMA.

> www.fibl.org/en/media/media-archive/media-archive17/media-release15/article/in-basel-fand-die-12-internationale-konferenz-fuer-biologischen-pflanzenschutz-statt.html

2.2 New World Board of IFOAM - Organics International elected

On 12 and 13 November 2017, subsequent to the Organic World Congress (OWC) in India, the members of IFOAM – Organics International gathered at their general assembly. A new president as well as a new world board for the next three years were elected at the meeting. Julia Lernoud from FiBL is one of the newly elected members.

> www.fibl.org/en/service-en/news-archive/news/article/neuer-ifoam-vorstand-gewaehlt-das-fibl-ist-auch-vertreten.html

2.3 Strategic cooperation between FiBL and the Organic Valley in China

On 27 September, the deputy mayor of the Chinese city Xiangyang visited FiBL in Switzerland, where an agreement on strategic cooperation was reached between FiBL and the "China Organic Valley Support Center" at Xiangyang city. It is a great milestone for FiBL's technology export to boost the organic agriculture development in China and also an opportunity for China to access the international market with certified and controlled organic products.

> www.fibl.org/en/service-en/news-archive/news/article/strategic-cooperation-between-fibl-and-the-organic-valley-in-china.html

2.4 Seed as a commons: Key for organic plant breeding - establishing alternatives to seed monopolies

Market concentration in the seed sector is growing incessantly. Strategies and practical alternatives to counter further privatisation and monopolisation of seed are needed. Speakers and participants of the conference "Seed as Commons" introduced and discussed such strategies on 19 October in Brussels.

> www.fibl.org/en/service-en/news-archive/news/article/seed-as-a-commons-key-for-organic-plant-breeding-establishing-alternatives-to-seed-monopolies.html

2.5 Fraud prevention through verifying organic farming practices

Transparency is crucial for the organic markets and exports from Ukraine. More transparency could be achieved through verifying good organic farming practices, shorter supply chains and traceability. This was one of the conclusions at the International Conference "Improving Integrity of Organic Supply Chains" in Odesa, Ukraine. The conference took place in the frame of the Swiss-Ukraine development cooperation project "Organic Market Development in Ukraine", which is funded by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). It attracted 170 participants from 14 countries.

> www.fibl.org/en/media/media-archive/media-archive17/media-release15/article/fraud-prevention-through-verifying-organic-farming-practices.html

2.6 FiBL and Indian Agricultural University sign MoU to embark on collaborative projects

In a brief ceremony on 5 November, representatives of FiBL and the vice-chancellor of the PDKV Agricultural University in Akola, India, along with other higher officials, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to embark on collaborative projects.

> www.fibl.org/en/service-en/news-archive/news/article/fibl-and-indian-agricultural-university-sign-mou-to-embark-on-collaborative-projects.html

2.7 Cotton is back in Haiti: New hope for farmers

Cotton is back in Haiti after a 30-year absence, having once been the country’s fourth largest agricultural export. Building on its original agroforestry model linking agriculture and tree planting, the Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA) is scaling up by adding a network of farm cooperatives that will be part of a new supply chain that will exclusively serve smallholder farmers and connect them to both local and global markets.

> www.fibl.org/en/service-en/news-archive/news/article/cotton-is-back-in-haiti-new-hope-for-farmers.html

3 Publications and videos

3.1 Video: First Organic Field Days at the Hessian State Domain Frankenhausen, Germany

On 21 and 22 June 2017, more than 8000 visitors attended the first nationwide Organic Field Days in Germany. Most of the more than 200 exhibitors were from the sectors of agricultural engineering, inputs and seeds/vegetative propagation material. Eleven additional categories ranging from consultancy to research and certification all the way to animal husbandry and marketing were present.

> www.fibl.org/en/switzerland/communication-advice/communication/videos.html

3.2 Video: Tail biting in pigs - causes and prevention

The PigWatch project aims to develop and apply animal based measures to avoid the pain, frustration and negative emotional states associated with tail biting and aggression in finishing pigs. On the farm, early identification of biting problems will allow corrective actions to be taken before the problem gets out of hand. Biters or aggressors can then be removed at an early stage, or other causes of the problem addressed. This approach is pioneered in the FareWellDock project, and their preliminary results will be further developed in PigWatch.

> www.fibl.org/en/switzerland/communication-advice/communication/videos.html

3.3 Fact sheet on the life cycle assessment of organic foods

How meaningful are environmental assessments of organic foods based on life cycle assessments? A new fact sheet provides an overview of the current state of knowledge and draws important conclusions.

> www.fibl.org/en/service-en/news-archive/news/article/fact-sheet-on-the-life-cycle-assessment-of-organic-foods.html

3.4 Website: Stay informed on current import requirements

Navigating through the ever-changing import rules is now easier thanks to a new website: OrganicExportInfo. It allows exporters of organic products to find the current requirements for major import countries.

> www.fibl.org/en/media/media-archive/media-archive17/media-release15/article/exportieren-sie-bioprodukte-eine-neue-website-informiert-ueber-aktuelle-regelungen.html

4 Events

4th West African Conference on Ecological Organic Agriculture in Mali

FiBL events in other languages

FiBL events in other languages can be viewed at

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

FiBL on Facebook, Twitter & Co.

You have a number of possibilities to keep yourself updated about FiBL. Here are the relevant links:

> FiBL news: www.fibl.org/en/homepage.html

> FiBL newsletter: www.fibl.org/en/service-en/newsletter-en.html

> FiBL news via RSS: www.fibl.org/en/service-en/rss-en.html

> FiBL on Twitter: www.twitter.com/fiblorg

> FiBL on Facebook: www.facebook.com/FiBLnews

> FiBL on YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/FiBLFilm/videos

> 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.

 

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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