|The study visit has taken place on December 6-7 and the participants have been the representatives of all the Organiko Partner organizations.
The visit has served the following purposes:
1. Sharing, with relevant Italian institutions and NGO representatives the preliminary results of the two research studies implemented within the Organiko project.
2. Inform the FAO officials about Organiko, the two research studies the forthcoming project initiatives.
3. Update the Partners from Cyprus about the latest organic farming (OF) developments in Italy.
4. Extend the invitation to the Climatico conference, scheduled to take place in Limassol on 11 and 12 April 2019, to all the Colleagues met.
5. Having a Partners’ meeting on the project’s next steps, tasks and task division.
The preliminary results of the two research studies implemented within the Organiko, shared with ppt presentations by the Colleagues from Cyprus, have raised curiosity and interest: the Italian State Secretary responsible for organic farming, the FAO officials, the CREA officers and the Legambiente and WWF Italy NGO representatives have all explicitly asked to be kept informed about the final research results, underlining, from different perspectives, the value of the work presented and of its replicability and added value potentials also in other national contexts.
Information and updates on the latest Italian OF developments have been supplied, on agro-ecology and the bio-districts experience, during the visit and meetings at the Biobagnolese farm; on the new Italian Government’s policies stressing the 100%-Italian-organic approach and principle to be included in the new national OF legislation whose approval is expected for the beginning of 2019; with the latest OF economic research carried out by CREA; the new interest by the Head of State in the increasing organic component in the management of the presidential Castelporziano estate and during the meeting with the Legambiente and WWF Italy representatives.
The invitation to the Climatico 2019 conference has been extended during the various meetings and it will be followed up by Kyoto Club and the Partners’ meeting took place, as scheduled, at the Kyoto Club office on December 06, from 17:30 to 19:30.
ROME STUDY VISIT
It is noteworthy mentioning that CLIMATICO 2019 conference and the opportunity to submit an abstract and attend the conference was offered to all meetings with various stakeholders in and around Rome.
First the team visited a bio district premises outside Rome where organic farming takes place and we were introduced into the bio district concept that brings together different municipalities and organic farmers.
Visited also FAO premises to present the ORGANIKO findings. The children health and greenhouse gas emissions data were presented. The sustainable diets and nutrition unit showed special interest asking for the study results as soon as they become available and shared with us their just recently produced documentation on school feeding programs in Africa by FAO. CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION capacity is a priority of FAO for agriculture and agroecology. Trying to bring all policy makers with various project results from different countries. They can put the results online when we have them ready.
Our project consortium meeting took place at afternoon of the same day. The ORGANIKO conference preparation activities progress smoothly with all partners advertising it to attract participants. We agreed to wait for the abstract deadline and then decide on next steps, if needed to attract more participants to reach the goal of 200 participants. Also, the meeting discussed the steps for the timeline about the white paper formulation that will be eventually submitted to the Cyprus Ministry of Agriculture. The partners agreed to speed up the formulation of the first draft by end of January so it is submitted to comments by the senior officers of the Ministry and then to be submitted to the Organic Council of the government who is the main body that will decide or not to take up the content and recommendations of the white paper into a national policy law. These steps have to take place latest by end of March so they could be potentially announced during the CLIMATICO conference on April 11 2018.
The next day we visited the Ministry of Agriculture in Rome and we met with the State General Secretary and his team. We explained the ORGANIKO project findings and they also expressed great interest to our findings because they said it will support their policies. Of the most recent interesting policy, their announcement to provide 10 million euros to support organic meals in schools for families that are disadvantaged and for educational awareness campaigns. They also mentioned their policy to generate a new organic logo for the country.
Afterwards, we visited CREA the Ministry of Agriculture’s main research institute of economics and policy. We presented the ORGANIKO findings to the team and they wanted to receive the publications when the results of our project will have been finalized.
The visit to the Presidential estate that is fully organic was visited; a pristine landscape of organic cultivation for animals and forage. We found out about the importance given by the Presidential Palace in maintaining organic practices throughout this huge palace, farms and forest and dunes next to the Tyrenian sea.
Last we met with Legambiente and WWF Italy. They showed mere interest in the findings of ORGANIKO project and they would like to be updated when the findings become publicly available. We told them also about the pilot organic study we did in Parma with the Parma university hospital and that we await for the urine samples analysis to be done.