Official OFSP launch at Biofach

February 2017, Nuremberg/ Germany

The comprehensive international Organic Food System Programme (OFSP) has being launched at the world’s leading trade fair for organic food, the BioFach in Nuremberg. Several highly recognized experts from all over the world presented aspects of the OFSP.

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The OFSP makes the link between healthy production and healthy eating. It takes a novel approach by using the organic food system as a working example for sustainable food systems. Johannes Kahl, one of the three programme coordinators: “From a scientific point of view, the organic food system offers a global food system for analysis, including key elements such as metrics, principles, various practises and lots of data for modelling and testing. By taking it as a model with a clear link between production and consumption, we will be able to pursue answers to various questions dealing with the problems in our food system and diets today.” Prof. Dr. Carola Strassner from Münster University of Applied Sciences, Germany presented the key questions for scientific challenges within OFSP projects and Prof. emeritus Dr. Denis Lairon (NORT laboratory/University, Marseille, France) showed how organic consumption patterns seems to be near to sustainable and healthy food choices.

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There are various studies showing a contribution of organic agriculture to global sustainability aspects. Major issues for shifting food systems towards sustainability revolve around how to change consumption patterns and how to improve the nutritional quality and related health characteristics of food. While the organic food market is growing rapidly worldwide, the dietary pattern of organic consumers seems to be closer to healthy dietary patterns as well as to the FAO’s sustainable diet concept. Jostein Hertwig, member of the steering committee and coordinator of BERAS in Sweden: “The real potential of the Organic Food System Programme flows from the close interrelations and processes between scientists, actors in the food chain, NGOs and authorities, in working together for practical implementation at local levels. Starting with the dedicated networks of Food Quality and Health, IFOAM – Organics International, and BERAS, this in an invitation for others also to join.”
David Gould, Program Facilitator at IFOAM – Organics International: “We need to change the thinking from food chain to food system. More people need to be aware of the connection between farming and eating, and together with more institutions play an active role in bringing healthy food to the table. They should be enabled to make informed choices and incentivize better practices.” Prof. Dr. Wahyudi David (University of Bakrie, Indonesia) presented Indonesia as a model region within the OFSP. The Organic Food System Programme consists of many different projects being run at sites around the world and enjoys a wide range of disciplinary perspectives.