Dear members and friends of ISOFAR,

I like to let you know some information about our activities in the first half of the year 2018. The board has met twice, one virtual, one vis-à-vis on Capri (before the GRAB-IT conference - the Italian conference of Organic Agriculture Researcher, which we supported). ISOFAR board members gave several oral and posters presentations. As president I was honored to give a keynote in the introduction of ISOFAR and our activities, to have more members and a clear agenda to be recognized as important network of scientists. The key message was, to work on challenges, not on regulation. That does mean, to have a clear commitment in the goals of Organic Agriculture, the understanding of future challenges of sustainable food security and safety, and the role to stimulate and initiate a science based discussion in the movement and the scientific community, as well as becoming a “Plan B” for politicians and stakeholders. We know, as scientists we are poor in resources, but rich in ideas and communication. We need more members throughout the world to become stronger as association.

The Capri board meeting was important to know each other better and to make a programme and agenda for our term till 2020: we like to make a special workshop 2019 in Morocco (in conjunction with an Organic Conference), to discuss the “how” we can help with Organic Agriculture to solve future challenges (the “why” was already published as result from a Korea workshop 2015). The results will be published as well in a special issue of Organic Agriculture in 2020 and the OWC. Together with representatives from Springer, our publisher, we have discussed the amendments in our Journal of Organic Agriculture, which we discussed and decided at our India workshop last November. The Journal is on a good track, 219 papers have already been published, the procedure of review is fine and in time. Springer is happy and we try to achieve the final step of recognizion in an application for ISI this year.

With ISOFAR support the German government has decided to launch a call for “knowledge centres for Organic Agriculture”. This is important, because the foreseen 4 centres shall disseminate the knowledge of Organic Agriculture to farmers and consumers, not only as certified products, but as sustainable and local adapted production measures with increasing output for small scale and poor farms. The topic and informations can be found on the webpage.

ISOFAR is represented in the IFOAM world board. The changed of the goals and strategy of IFOAM, confirmed at the General Assembly in Dehli 2017, is called Organic 3.0. ISOFAR has initiated and followed the discussions since 2011, at the OWC11 in Seoul. ISOFAR is committed to support this idea with scientific work.

I invite you all to make Organic Agriculture stronger with research, to work on future challenges of the food system and to be active member of ISOFAR.

gerold ny

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prof. Dr. Gerold Rahmann
President of ISOFAR

Linked to an international workshop on organic agriculture and agroecology, the ISOFAR world board met at Anacapri, Italy during June 25-26, 2018. 11 board members out of 13 were present to discuss the development of the society’s own journal, Organic Agriculture (Springer) and plan further actions.

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More than 100 participants from 23 countries came together for 3 days (June 27-29, 2018) to present and discuss new results in order to move organic agricuture forward. The event was interdisciplinary, with different topics represented in all sessions and an interesting mix of social and natural scientists. A main headline was how agroecological principles and theory may be better utilised in developing certified organic food and farming. A follow-up workshop is planned in 2020.

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isofar board AKs

ISOFAR board meeting held in Villa Orlandi belonged to University of Naples Federico II.

Linked to an international workshop on organic agriculture and agroecology, the ISOFAR world board met at Anacapri, Italy during June 25-26, 2018. 11 board members out of 13 were present to discuss the development of the society’s own journal, Organic Agriculture (Springer) and plan further actions.

In Italy, many scientists are active within organic farming research, with a national network GRAB-IT established in 1986. An international workshop was conducted in Ancona in 1992. GRAB-IT decided to arrange a second workshop in 2018, with beatiful Capri island close to Naples as the venue. ISOFAR supported this event, and several board members combined the meeting with an active participation in the workshop, which made it easier to find funding for our travel costs.

For the ISOFAR board meeting, the members used the first day to update each other on activities relevant for our society, e.g. the planning of upcoming events. We also discussed the development of our journal Organic Agriculture, to prepare for a meeting between members of the journal advisory board the next day with senior adviser Melania Ruiz, Springer.

The next day, the board split to discuss the journal, or upcoming scientific events arranged or supported by ISOFAR. ISOFAR is responsible for the proceedings of the 4th African Organic Conference to be arranged in Cameroon November 5-8, 2018. Further, it was agreed to establish a scientific commitee and board (steering group) for a scientific track in a national organic conference in Morocco in the autumn of 2019, and we had a broad discussion about the contents and direction of this track. Board member Khalid Azim is our contact person to this event.

Springer seems quite satisfied with the development of Organic Agriculture journal, and achieving an impact factor should be realistic in few years. A well balanced board of assocoated editors, with significant publishing records and a dedication to work for journal’s progress is essential. Furher, we need to improve with respect to visibility in social media. Board member Jessica Shade offered to manage a Twitter account on behalf of ISOFAR and the journal. ISOFAR members are welcome to use it when established– you will be notified.

springer meeting

ISOFAR – Springer: meeting with Springer senior adviser Melania Ruiz (chaired by Raffaele Zanoli).

 

The next vis-a-vis board meeting will likely be in Morocco in 2019.

planning of upcomming events

Planning of upcoming events: Discussion of ISOFAR contribution with 4th African Organic Conference 2018 in Cameroon (chaired by Victor Olowe) and Morocco conference 2019 (chaired by Khalid Azim).

isofar grab it ws

More than 100 participants from 23 countries came together for 3 days (June 27-29, 2018) to present and discuss new results in order to move organic agricuture forward. The event was interdisciplinary, with different topics represented in all sessions and an interesting mix of social and natural scientists. A main headline was how agroecological principles and theory may be better utilised in developing certified organic food and farming. A follow-up workshop is planned in 2020.

The international workshop, «Agroecology and Organic Agriculture as a Response to Global Challenges», was arranged with beautiful Capri island as a venue, during June 27-29, 2018. With orange necklaces, the participants were easy to identify among the many tourists in the narrow streets of Anacapri village. Many young researchers were present, and a broad range of Italian universities were represented, demonstrating the important role of agroecology and organic agriculture in this country. The network of organically oriented researchers in Italy, GRAB-IT (Gruppo Ricerca Agricoltura Biologica), arranged the event in cooperation with the nearby University of Naples Federico II and the scientific association Centro di Portici which also endorsed by ISOFAR.

At the opening session, Prof. Dr. Gerold Rahmann (ISOFAR President) presented ISOFAR aims and missions to the participants and encoraged them to join the Society. Several dedicated and reputable international scientists participated as invited plenary speakers, such as Alexander Wezel (ISARA, Lyon, former president of the association Agroecology Europe), Erik Steen Jensen (SLU, Sweden), Ulrich Hamm (Witzenhausen University, Germany), Elena Mente (University of Thessaly, Greece). The current Agroecology Europe president, Paola Migliorini, who is also in the Board of GRAB-IT, was active during the whole workshop, contributed to explainmany interlinkages between these two fields of science. It was generally agreed that we should cooperate more closely in future.

A topic that created much interest was the session on circular economy, where several speakers warned against the risk that even if this way of designing activities may seem truly sustainable, the actual effect of transforming resource use to renewable instead of finite inputs may be an even harder exploitation of natural land, resources and and habitats, unless we concurrently reduce our activities significantly.

Long-term experiments were the topic for a Special Session, and positive results on soil C sequestration by reducing soil tillage and introducing cover crops were reported from various locations, ranging from Iowa (US) to Kazahstan. Part of the session was dedicated to the launching of the European Long Term Experiments Network. The special session was sponsored by the Italian Research Council for Agriculture and Economics (CREA) and the Italian Ministry of Agriculture (MiPAAF); at its end an invitation was launched to participate in an application for a COST action on networking of long-term experiments which will be endorsed by ISOFAR and Agroecology Europe. Marion Cassagrande (ITAB, France) is the contact person, and may be approached via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Appropriate attention was also given to consumer research, wine consumption which was the topic of another special session as well as organic aquaculture. An apero-poster session was organised so that the authors got a significant attention while socialising and getting to know other participants.

 

Some ISOFAR Board members made oral (Raffaele Zanoli, Stefano Canali, Anne- Kristin Loes and Victor Olowe) and poster (Khalid Azim) presentations at the workshop. The high point of the workshop was the selection and award of the papers of three best papers in which the paper of Anne- Kristin Loes was among them.

 

Selected papers from the event will be published in Organic Agriculture and other relevant journals.

The President of GRAB-IT (Prof. Raffaele Zanoli) annunced the next international workshop which will be held in Italy in 2020 (in Pollenzo near Turin, at the Università di Scienze Gastronomiche, the “Slow Food University”, just after the Terramadre/Slow Food exhibition in Turin) which jointly organised by GRAB-IT, RIRAB (the Italian network for organic food and farming research) and other associations and movemnts involved in agreocology and slow food concet promotion.


Author

Dr.Anne-Kristin   Loes,

ISOFAR Board Member, Senior Scientist at Norwegian Centre for Organic Agriculture

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The «Organic PLUS» project was kicked off in Padova, Italy on June 14-16, 2018 by coordinator Ulrich Schmutz from Coventry University (UK). 25 partners from 12 countries cooperate to use less antibiotics, toxic plant protection agents, peat, plastic and animal-derived fertilisers. A mapping of the actual use across Europe is the initial activity.

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