PANUPS: Organic Ag Works Worldwide (fwd)

Lawrence F. London, Jr., Venaura Farm, Chapel Hill, NC USA 
mailto:london@sunSITE.unc.edu - http://sunSITE.unc.edu/InterGarden
Organic Agriculture-Farmscaping-CSA-Permaculture-Renewable Energy Information
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Date: Mon, 23 Sep 1996 15:19:53 -0700 (PDT)
From: PANNA InfoPubs <paninfopubs@igc.apc.org>
To: Recipients of conference <panups@igc.apc.org>
Subject: PANUPS: Organic Ag Works Worldwide

                         P A N U P S
                   Pesticide Action Network 
                        North America
                       Updates Service

September 23, 1996

Copenhagen Declaration: Global Food Security Requires Organic 

More than 1000 farmers, scientists, government officials and 
others from 92 countries convened this August in Copenhagen 
for the 11th Scientific Conference of the International 
Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM). The 
Conference stressed that organic practices are viable 
worldwide, and issued a statement demanding that organic 
agriculture be prioritized as a strategy for creating global 
food security. IFOAM represents 530 farmer, food security and 
consumer organizations worldwide.

The conference's "Copenhagen Declaration" criticized the UN 
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) for failing to 
adequately emphasize the importance of food quality and 
safety, local food self-reliance and environmental protection 
in planning for the upcoming World Food Summit in Rome. In 
addition, it stated that FAO has neglected the importance to 
food security of access to resources, equitable land tenure 
and women's rights.

FAO is sponsoring the World Food Summit this November to 
determine international strategies for reducing hunger and 
undernutrition. FAO estimates that there are approximately 
800 million undernourished people worldwide.

The Declaration asserts that organic agriculture can produce 
sufficient, high quality food to ensure long term food 
security while protecting both human health and the 
environment. Signatories to the Declaration urged FAO to set 
local, regional and national food self-sufficiency as its 
goals, and to draw on IFOAM's organic production expertise in 
reaching these goals.

In press releases, IFOAM stated that, in developing countries 
where food has not been intensively produced with high input, 
industrial agriculture techniques, training farmers in 
organic practices can increase yields 200-300% over previous 
levels. However, IFOAM pointed out that poverty and unequal 
purchasing power are the true causes of food insecurity. 
According to IFOAM, because of  demand for meat by affluent 
people, more grain is produced for cattle and pigs than for 
humans despite widespread hunger and malnutrition.

IFOAM criticized FAO's approach to food security for 
stressing increased production, which generally means 
increased pesticide use and reliance on expensive, high 
technology solutions like biotechnology, rather than improved 
distribution. Signatories to the Copenhagen Declaration 
expressed fear that the "failure of the Green Revolution will 
be repeated by promoting an even more destructive gene-

The Copenhagen conference also gave participants an 
opportunity to learn about the success of organic agriculture 
in some countries. For example, organic agriculture in Sweden 
is on track to reach 10% of the nation's total agricultural 
production in the next two years. In addition, the Danish 
Minister for Environment called on his government to achieve 
organic production levels at 15-20% of agricultural 
production within four years.

Demonstrating the inroads that organic farming has made in 
developing countries, the newly established Sustainable 
Agriculture and Rural Development (SARD)-Mallinckrodt Prize 
was awarded to three groups in Africa, Asia and Latin 
America. The recipients included the Kenyan Institute of 
Organic Farming, the Cuban Organic Farming Association and 
Agricultural Renewal in India for a Sustainable Environment. 
The SARD-Mallinckrodt Prize disburses US$10,000 among groups 
and/or individuals who advance agroecological practices, 
foster equitable development and have documentable impacts on 
national policy.

Sources: "Is Organic Agriculture a Real Solution for Global 
Food Security," IFOAM Press Release, September 4, 1996; "Is 
Organic Agriculture a Possible Solution to World Hunger?" 
Herve la Prairie, IFOAM, May 2, 1996.

Contact: IFOAM, General-Secretariat, c/o Okozentrum Imsbach, 
D-66636, Tholey-Theley, Germany; phone (49) 6853-5190; fax 
(49) 6853-30110; email ifoam-secretary@oln.comlink.apc.org; 

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