New European organic group formed

The Soil Association, the organic food and farming charity, has joined a new pan-European group of organic lobbyists.

The ‘Leading Organic Alliance’ has been launched to help promote organic farming in Europe, develop and protect organic standards and exchange best practices.

The other seven organisations involved in the collaboration are Bio Austria (Austria), Bioforum (Belgium), CAAE (Spain), Debio (Norway), ICEA (Italy), KRAV (Sweden), and Naturland (Germany).

Francis Blake, of the Soil Association, said: “All our organisations are deeply embedded in the organic movement with similar values and aspirations – we share a common vision of a truly organic world, as encapsulated in the IFOAM principles. However, we all face similar challenges and we recognise that we can achieve our shared aims more effectively by working together rather than separately.”

Lars Nellmer, of KRAV, added: “These challenges include the fact that the word ‘organic’ is defined by legislation. Whilst this is a good starting point, there is a considerable gap between this and what is genuinely organic in its deepest sense. We feel it is our responsibility to stay ahead of the legislation to encourage progress in the right direction and to help deepen the public understanding of organic.”

The Soil Association recently claimed that the UK was losing out in the organic arena - and admitted that the recession had impacted the sector’s development.

>> Soil Association admits organics need better PR

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