5th IFOAM International Conference on
Trade in Organic Products
News release, July 15, 1997
IFOAM homepage


A major international organic trade conference 'The Future Agenda for Organic Trade' will be held in Oxford, England in September.

Billed as the world's most important food trade conference in 1997, the 5th IFOAM International Conference on Trade in Organic Products is sponsored by leading UK supermarket chain Sainsbury's and the babyfood manufacturer HIPP - the world's largest organic producer.

Organised by the UK organic food and farming charity The Soil Association, the conference is expected to attract about 400 delegates from the UK and around the world.

Speakers include government ministers from the UK, Argentina and Austria, senior representatives from the World Trade Organisation and UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, and US and Europe organic industry experts.

HRH Prince of Wales and the European Commissioner for Agriculture Franz Fischler will give video messages of support.

The conference will look at current and future market opportunities in the rapidly expanding organic sector and government's role in developing organic trade, and questions what the growing presence of multinationals in the sector means for current traders. Is it time to integrate fair trade with organic standards, and what will the standards be for food quality in the future - how can they be used to develop organic trade? Genetically modified food issues will also be examined.

In some European countries, sales of organic food are likely to overtake sales of conventional food within 10-15 years. The organic sector is growing at about 30% a year in the UK alone and demand outstrips supply. Seventy per cent of the organic food consumed in the UK is imported.

There are enormous opportunities for the food industry and the sector has important environmental and social benefits for developed and developing countries alike. CAP reform is embracing agri-environment schemes and more governments are encouraging organic food production.

Media Contact: Tanyia Maxted-Frost, IFOAM Conference
Co-ordinator Tel: (44) 01903 812200, Fax: (44) 01903 879052
E-mail: ifoamconf@naturalproducts.co.uk
Notes to media editors:

The conference will be held at Christ Church College, Oxford and the Oxford Town Hall from September 24-27.

IFOAM - the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements which represents 600 organisations in 100 countries - is hosting the four-day conference.

If it is possible, please list the fact that for for further information and to receive a programme and registration form, interested people can contact the conference office on (44) 01903 812200.

If you would like to cover the conference please contact the IFOAM Conference Office.