Following two years of intensive thought, discussions, debates, and revisions, IFOAM was pleased to announce in January that the Best Practice Guideline for Agriculture and Value Chains (which can be downloaded at www.ifoam.org), has been approved by unanimous vote of the IFOAM Membership, with over 11% of membership casting their vote.

This successful outcome reflects the consensus-building efforts of IFOAM and its partners in SOAAN (the Sustainable Organic Agriculture Action Network), and is a reflection of the work invested in stakeholder engagement prior to the vote.

Going forward, IFOAM intends the Best Practice Guideline to serve as a core document of IFOAM’s contribution to the global discussion on sustainability, both within and outside the organic sector. It is intended to help more fully manifest the Principles of Organic Agriculture worldwide and show the organic movement as a leader across a full spectrum of sustainability issues pertinent to agriculture and its value chains.  The Best Practice Guideline is intended to be a living document; use, debate, and refinement of this first version are encouraged. Once approved it will be subject to improvements and amendment through motions to future General Assemblies, starting in Istanbul in 2014.

The Best Practice Guideline has also become one of IFOAM’s Organic Landmarks, and will serve as the linchpin for IFOAM’s new Best Practice Community, which will be launched in early 2014.

For inquiries and questions please contact David Gould, IFOAM Value Chain Facilitator, at d.gould@ifoam.org.

Meanwhile, January 15th is the deadline to register for the ‘International Conference on Organic & Ecological Agriculture in Mountain Ecosystems’ March 5th to 8th, 2014, in Thimphu Bhutan.

Join a diverse line-up of thought leaders, researchers, scientists and farmers to discuss the latest scientific findings, technological progress and devise models to strengthen organics in mountain range areas. The conference will also include sessions in the tracks: Science, Policy & Farming.

On registration participants will have the possibility to sketch their ideas on what is needed to realize “Organic Himalaya”. This information will then be used to shape the sessions as well as the final conference program.