BIOFACH Congress will focus on the transformative and creative power of women in the food sector

From 13–16 February 2024, the next round of BIOFACH, the World's Leading Trade Fair for Organic Food, will take place at Exhibition Centre Nuremberg. Parallel to the exhibition, the BIOFACH Congress also offers a venue for discussion, networking, and shaping the sector. Every year, the event's international patron IFOAM – Organics International, and national supporting organization, the German Federation of Organic Food Producers (BÖLW) decide on one topic that will be the focus of the congress. This time around, it is the transformative and creative power of women in the food sector and their role in achieving a more sustainable future for our food system.

Tina Andres, the chair of peak organic body BÖLW: "When it comes to shaping the future of foodstuffs, the organic system plays a pioneering role. However, in many agricultural sectors it is still "business as usual", which impairs our ability to feed future generations. Organic farming has turned the tide. And the same holds for women. We are seeing more and more women who are developing strategic, integrated, cost-effective solutions along the ecological supply chain to tackle the social, political and intergenerational change that is urgently necessary. We want to make women in the food and farming industry visible. Women who are independent and indispensable as change agents, key players and role models."

As the agri-food industry is a major employer of both men and women, its sustainable transformation would have far-reaching consequences. It would allow communities not just to survive, but also to thrive in the future. To achieve this, women need to be involved in the decision-making processes, so that the sector can benefit from their insights and specialist expertise. In this context, the organic system can be ahead of its times by exhausting the full potential of women – whether they are preserving seeds, safeguarding traditional agricultural knowledge, or running companies – while at the same time striving for fairness for everyone.

"Although it is known that there are more than 3.7 million organic producers in 191 countries on more than 76 million hectares of land, we do not have any data broken down by gender. This information would allow decision-makers to develop equitable political measures to improve the living conditions of male and female organic farmers everywhere, " says Tina Andres from BÖLW. "Business also has a role to play here, by creating and maintaining an integrative corporate culture to attract the next generation of talents and ensure that organic farming remains one of the fastest growing sectors in agriculture."

From mid-August you can submit your proposals for the BIOFACH Congress. The Call for Ideas will then begin. In the various forums, including on the topics of sustainability, politics and science, the way forward will be paved through lively exchanges between all players along the supply chain. For more organic products, more sustainability, and more gender equality.

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