Programme: Organic innovating sustainable food systems
Challenges for organic: producers, market, consumption & innovation

9:00 Registration

10:00 Welcoming remarks

  • Álvaro Barrera – President, Ecovalia
  • Jan Plagge – President, IFOAM Organics Europe
  • Jose María Bellido Roche – Mayor, Cordoba City
  • Luis Planas Puchades – Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Spain
  • Vicente Pérez García de Prado – Regional Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Water and Rural Development, Andalusia Region

10:30 Opportunities and challenges for a sustainable agri-food system

While most policymakers agree that a transition towards more sustainable food systems is needed, there are divergences in opinion regarding how to achieve this transition, which tools to rely on, and on the urgency of this transition. The European Commission has paved the way towards (more) sustainable food systems with its European Green Deal and particularly the Farm to Fork strategy. This panel will look into how to achieve this transition and particularly into the legal proposal for more sustainable food systems (as foreseen within the Farm to Fork strategy) and the role of organic therein. This session will also delve into the obstacles on the way of the transition towards more sustainable food systems, including a political reticence towards a real transition, as well as greenwashing and the spreading of misinformation.  


Álvaro Barrera – President, Ecovalia  

Benoit Biteau – Member of the European Parliament, Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance 

Francisco Martínez Arroyo – Advisory member of the Office of the Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. 

Jan Plagge – President, IFOAM Organics Europe / President, Bioland

Joanna Stawowy – Member of Cabinet, European Commissioner for Agriculture, European Commission   

Moderator: Eduardo Cuoco – Director, IFOAM Organics Europe 

12:00 Coffee break

12:30 Organic market challenges: Best practices & assuring fairness in the supply chain

The European organic market has more than doubled between 2015 and 2020 showing the growth of consumer demand and the success of measures sustaining demand. While it is currently facing difficulties in some countries (due to e.g. food inflation linked to the war in Ukraine, rise of the cost of living), overall consumer demand remains strong.  During this panel, speakers will share how retailers are adapting to the new geo-political circumstances and striving to keep consumer demand for organic. 


Anselmo Mendez – General Manager, Veritas

Aurelio del Pino Gonzalez – President, ACES

David CaréGeneral Manager South Europe, Ecotone

Sabine HallerProduct Manager Fruit, Bio Suisse, Switzerland 

Moderator: Silvia Schmidt Policy Manager, IFOAM Organics Europe 

13:30 Lunch

Included in the Congress ticket.a

14:45 Ensuring generational renewal in the organic companies

In this session, speakers will talk about empowering a new generation of highly qualified youth to bring the full benefits of their knowledge to support sustainability in the EU food system. In addition, the session also aims to emphasise that young people can make a relevant contribution to organic companies, finding new ways to integrate sustainability in businesses and bringing innovation and vitality to the organic sector.


Bénédicte Meurens – Managing Director, Sipal

Giovanni Battista Girolomoni – President, Gino Girolomoni Cooperativa Agricola

Leonhard Wilhelm – Managing Director, Rapunzel 

Pol Picazos – CEO, Biocop 

Moderator: Laura SauquesPolicy Coordinator on Sustainable Food Systems and the CAP, IFOAM Organics Europe 

15:45 Examples of innovative policies in the agri-food chain


Armindo JacintoPresident, Biodistrict Idanha Nova 

Daniel Quesada Sánchez – General Director of Agricultural Production and Livestock, CAPADR, Junta de Andalucía 

Jerome Cinel – Director, INTERBIO Nouvelle-Aquitaine

Moderator: José Costoya – Institutional Coordinator of INTERECO

16:30 Coffee break

17:00 Promoting organic farming under the EU and national promotional schemes

Improving awareness of organic food and the European organic label is key to promoting consumption as part of the European Commission’s organic action plan. This round table will analyse different actions carried out in this area by different governments and organisations.


Bruno De Oliveria Head of sector for Promotion policy and CAP, Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development European Commission 

Diego Granado Cumbres General Secretary, ECOVALIA

José Miguel Herrero Velasco – General Director, Agrifood Industries/ Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Fish and Food 

Krystyna Radkowska – CEO, Polish Chamber of Organic Food 

Moderator: Joanna Wierzbicka – Deputy Director / Strategic Initiatives Manager, IFOAM Organics Europe

18:00 End of day one programme - Break till dinner

20:00 Dinner

Additional ticket required.

08:30 Registration

09:00 Opening remarks of the second day

09:20 Keynote: Scenarios from OrganicTargets4EU 25% organic farmland by 2030 – How can we achieve it?

Speaker: Raffaele Zanoli – Professor of Agro-Food Marketing, University of Ancona

09:50 Intro to breakout sessions

10:00 Break out sessions part I.

A. Trends in international organic markets beyond EU 

With the help of experts in markets such as the North American, Chinese or emerging markets such as Latin America, we will learn about the characteristics and trends in these markets.


Laura González Escallada- Founder and Partner, NHC Conecta

Rommel Betacourt – President, Iberoamerican Comission of Organic Farming

Tom Chapman – CEO, Organic Trade Association

Moderator: Juan Manuel Sánchez – CEO, Servicio de Certificación CAAE

B. Research and innovation (R&I) opportunities and needs in organic production

In this session, research opportunities at EU as well as national, regional and private level will be presented, as will be the European Technology Platform for R&I into organics and agroecology TP Organics, which is hosted by IFOAM Organics Europe, and its role in influencing EU R&I policy and securing funding for organic R&I, capacity building through brokerage and promoting knowledge exchange among the organic actors. One speaker is part of the Steering Committee of TP Organics (Hungarian organic research institute OEMKi), respectively, and showcasing what works well both at national and EU level. A private case (input producer) and a representative from the regional government Andalucia will provide further practical and regional examples and one example of private initiatives on research and innovation will be presented. The panel will be moderated by the President of Spanish Society of Ecological Agriculture/Agroecology & TP Organics member SEAE, Concha Fabeiro, and will also identify R&I needs of the organic and agroecological sector.


Concepción Mateu Padilla – Head of Service for Management and Control of AGRI-FOOD Subsidies, Regional Minister of Agriculture, Water and Rural Development, Andalusia Region

Dora Drexler – OMKI Director, IFOAM Organics Europe Board Vice President & TP Organics Steering Committee Member

Sanae Kamah – R & D Departement: Biofertilisers, Biostimulants & Natural Extract Manager. TRICHODEX, S.L.

Moderator: Concepción Fabeiro – President, SEAE

11:00 Coffee break

11:30 Break out sessions part II.

C. Multiple challenges in organic certification – is it time for a conceptual change?

In this session we would like to give floor to discussions on pending implementation topics related to the EU Organic Regulation, having an overview about the main changes with the new regulation. We would like to turn towards international trade issues as well, examining the challenges of implementation in third countries and providing information on what the state of play is in the negotiations on trade agreements. We aim to get views from experts and the audience with a glimpse of the future and how they see the need for a particular paradigm shift in control and certification in order to remain effective and keep up with the expectations of the regulation and the consumers as well. 


Henri Delanghe – Deputy Head of Unit Organics, Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development, European Commission

Juan Carlos Pérez Montero – Board Member, The European Organic Certifiers Council (EOCC)

Marian BlomVice-President, IFOAM Organics Europe / Project Leader, Bionext

Miguel Vega García – Head of Service, Sub-Directorate Controls on food quality and Agri-Food labs

Moderator: Michel Reynaud – Board Member, IFOAM Organics Europe / Vice-President, Ecocert

D. Carbon farming – What’s in it for organic? 

The impacts of the climate crisis are becoming increasingly evident, and the EU is discussing a new “carbon farming” framework to incentivise farmers and foresters to store more carbon in soils. Increased soil carbon sequestration is a proven benefit of organic production systems, but some conditions need to be met for organic farmers to really benefit from such schemes. The session will also discuss how impacts on biodiversity could be taken into account.   


Adrian Steele – Organic Sector Development Adviser, Soil Association 

Fiona Marty – European Affairs Officer, FNAB 

Inmaculada Batalla- Board Member, Red Remedia

Moderator: Hanna Winkler – Policy Officer on Climate Change and Biodiversity, IFOAM Organics Europe 

12:30 Break

12:45 Sustainable breeding in organic farming

With the legislative proposals on plant breeding and the reform of seed legislation, new scenarios are opening up, which have to be developed in an environment where sustainability variables (climate adaptation, pests) will be fundamental. This session will analyse these scenarios and explore their development in organic production.


Bernard Lignon – Regulation and Quality Manager, Synabio/ Board Member, IFOAM Organics Europe

Federica Bigongiali – Director, Fondazione Seminare il Futuro

César Marcos Cabañas – Head of Communication, ALAS (Sustainable Agriculture Aliance) 

Moderator: Helene Schmutzler Policy Coordinator on GMOs and Animal Welfare, IFOAM Organics Europe

13:30 Lunch break

Included in the Congress ticket.

15:00 Organic on every table - hotels, restaurants and catering

To bring organic on every table, it is crucial to recognize the importance of restaurants, collective catering and public procurement, like school meals. Indeed, integrating organic there can be a very strong lever for change, by providing organic food in a broad and diverse range of places and securing new markets for organic producers.  In this session, we will explore the different possibilities to integrate organic in private and public catering.


Laure Verdeau Director, Agence Bio

Line Rise Nielsen – Food Policy Director, Changing Food

Samuel Moreno- Chef, Molino de Alcuneza

Yolanda García – Chef, Restaurant Espacio Gastrociencia de la Posada del Candil 

Moderator: Dña. Purificación González Camacho Deputy Director General, Promotion of Spanish Foods


Panel session sponsored by MAPA and Alimentos De España.

15:45 Closing remarks

  • Álvaro Barrera – President, Ecovalia
  • Jan Plagge – President, IFOAM Organics Europe

16:00 End of Congress

07:00 Departure from Cordoba

The bus will be waiting at the Hotel Hesperia (Avenida Fray Albino 1, 14009 Córdoba). Walking is 11 minutes from the event venue, “Palacio de Exposiciones y Congresos”.

08:15 Arrival at the farm

8:30 Welcome and coffee.

The welcome speech will be given by Enrique de la Torre Liébana, CEO of Ingeoliva (Cortijo El Puerto). Organic coffee will be served.

9:00 Visit to an organic olive grove and an organic mill.

Location: Cortijo El Puerto. A-456. Lora del Río, Seville

Through the scheduled field visit we will have the opportunity to visit an organic farm and industry, located in the heart of the Vega del Guadalquivir, where we will see the entire process of the organic oil production chain. It should be noted that this organic farm is especially relevant due to the investment made in biodiversity and the use of ICTs. The ecological industry has a bioclimatic building located on the farm itself. In addition, this experience also stands out for the management carried out both on the farm and in the industry, to ensure efficient use of water, an extremely important resource, especially in semi-arid zones.

For the visit there will be a division of the participant´s group. One group will be given the visit in Spanish and the rest of the visitors will attend the visit in English.

12:30 Departure of the bus to Córdoba.

The duration of the trip will be 1 hour and 11 minutes (80 km).

A snack bag will be distributed.

14:00 Arrival back to Cordoba

After the farm visit, the bus will return participants to the pick-up location: Hotel Hesperia (Avenida Fray Albino 1, 14009 Córdoba).


Panel session ”Organic on every table: hotels, restaurants and catering”  on 27 September sponsored by MAPA and Alimentos De España.

Please kindly note that Congress Excursion and Dinner requires additional purchase of tickets.