With sorrow, ISOFAR has received the news about our former board member, Professor Dr. William Lockeretz, that he passed away on December 12, 2019. Willie was his informal name, among his many friends in the worldwide organic movement. He made friends everywhere and could talk to anyone. He was an academic pioneer in organic agriculture in the United States of America, but also globally. He joined the board of ISOFAR at the establishment of this organisation in 2003 and kept his board position until 2011.

Willie was an eager participant of the organic world congresses, and the last time many organic colleagues met Willie in person was for the organic world congress in Modena, Italy in 2008. At this occasion, he celebrated the launch of his excellent textbook “Organic Farming: An International History” (2007, CABI). Possibly, the news about his passing away may give a refreshed attention to this important book, where Willie along with several competent co-authors  compiled a lot of interesting background information on organic pioneer movements and persons, and explained the philosophical roots which are so essential for a global movement to be able to grow in a safe and consistent manner. In ISOFAR, we will remember his kindness and humour when we continue our work in a direction which he would, hopefully, appreciate. We illustrate this short memorial text by a photo from one of his several visits to Scandinavia:

In memorial of William Lockeretz

Research in organic agriculture implies a great opportunity to make friendships across continents. Willie Lockeretz enjoyed visiting Scandinavia; here with Mette Vaarst (Aarhus University, Denmark) in Copenhagen Tivoli in 2006.

 

Link to memorial page in New York Times:

https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/nytimes/obituary.aspx?n=william-lockeretz&pid=194778540

Link to the textbook:

https://www.cabi.org/cabebooks/ebook/20073257634

 


Author information

On behalf of the ISOFAR world board,

Anne-Kristin Løes, Norwegian Centre for Organic Agriculture, Tingvoll.

Conservation of soil quality, efficient use of water and nutrients, and promotion of biodiversity are core tenets of agroecology. The evidence of this was never so clear as when I visited the Crossroads of Agroecological Initiatives and Practices (CIPA) project at Douar Skoura as part of a post-conference tour.

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With sorrow, ISOFAR has received the news about our former board member, Professor Dr. William Lockeretz, that he passed away on December 12, 2019. Willie was his informal name, among his many friends in the worldwide organic movement. 

> Read more

The undesired presence of phosphonic acid in organic wines in the EU market generates doubts in consumers and animates the debate among European policy makers. The workshop aims to share preliminary results of Italian BIOFOSF-WINE project on the origin of phosphonic acid contamination in organic wine.

Being the food safety an imperative in organic production, the detection of phosphonic acid in many organic wines in the EU market could reduce consumers’ confidence on organic products quality.

To solve this issue, the Italian Ministry of Agriculture funded the BIOFOSF-WINE «Solving phosphites issue in organic wines» project to the CREA - Research Centre for Agriculture and Environment – with the aim to understand the origin of phosphite contamination in organic wines.

After two years of data collection and several experimental trials, a workshop was organized by the BIOFOSF-WINE coordinator to present the objectives and preliminary results obtianed within the project and share information on the origin of phosphonic acid in organic wines. In particular, researchers will focus the attention not only on the potential improper application of plant protection products (PPP) not allowed in organic agriculture, but mainly on fertilizers or PPP containing phosphites used in field or oenological products used in cellars during winemaking. These results suggest to apply not too rigid limits for phosphorous acid contamination in organic wines.

Being the BIOFOSF-WINE a participated project, policy makers (Italian Ministry of Agriculture), research institutions (CREA, Edmund Mach Foundation), and stakeholders (Federbio and  Vassanelli Lab) will contribute to the event. A following debate will be opened among the participants to comment reported findings, share organic farmers' experience in EU on that topic, for comparing different positions on phosphite MRL in organic wine within the EU. 

Workshop “Why phosphonic acid residues in organic wine" 

The Italian BIOFOSF-WINE project», 13 February BIOFACH2020

 

Workshop BIOFOSF-WINE phosphite in organic wine

 

Relevant links

https://www.biofach.de/en/events/vortrag/why-phosphonic-acid-residues-in-organic-wine-the-italian-biofosf-wine-project/742122#top

http://sito.entecra.it/portale/cra_progetto_dettaglio.php?id_progetto=%22533b7c32-6729-0c4a-97b6-5a60be7fa755%22&lingua=EN&opz_menu=

 

 


Author information

Alessandra Trinchera

Coordinator of BIOFOSF-WINE Project

CREA Research Centre for Agriculture and Environment (Rome, Italy)

Conservation of soil quality, efficient use of water and nutrients, and promotion of biodiversity are core tenets of agroecology. The evidence of this was never so clear as when I visited the Crossroads of Agroecological Initiatives and Practices (CIPA) project at Douar Skoura as part of a post-conference tour.

CIPA is an educational and experimental agroecological farm established in 2015 approximately 30 km out of Marrakech. The goal of CIPA is to demonstrate the value of agroecological principles in addressing problems of soil degradation and desertification. The farm has demonstrated the importance and benefits of good water management, soil building and diversity.  In just 4 years, a barren landscape has been transformed into an oasis of life, diversity and food.

In brief, the farm began by diverting, collecting and storing water to support crop production. They established beds for vegetable production where they concentrated the application of plant residues to build soil organic matter and fertility. Hedgerows coupled with strategic placement of trees and shrubs have altered the microenvironment, shading and sheltering surrounding beds. Goats, chickens and ducks have been introduced to supply food as well recycle waste plant material to produce manure.

The farm has become certified organic to emphasize that ecological practices are being used in the establishment of a productive farm. The farm currently has 1/3 of its approximately 4 ha of land in production with the remainder under development.

While ongoing research is pivotal to improving our understanding and practice of agricultural production, this farm/training centre is a great example of how we already have the knowledge and ability to transform landscapes.

One of the greatest benefits of attending international conferences is the opportunity to visit inspiring organic operations around the world!

Canada news item 1

Canada news item 2

 

Canada news item 3

 


Author information

By: Dr. Andrew Hammermeister – Director, Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada, Dalhousie University

The undesired presence of phosphonic acid in organic wines in the EU market generates doubts in consumers and animates the debate among European policy makers. The workshop aims to share preliminary results of Italian BIOFOSF-WINE project on the origin of phosphonic acid contamination in organic wine.

> Read more