We are the five volunteers that moved from five European Union’s countries to its capital, Brussels, to take part in the European Voluntary Service. Coming from Croatia, France, Greece, Lithuania and Spain to help organic food and farming position itself properly within the EU regulation and to promote the green, eco-friendly and sustainable nature of this agricultural sector.
Unlike “modern-day farming” that has become almost exclusively industrial, mass-productive and most probably non-sustainable, the organic principles are not oriented towards quantity and earnings above everything else. The focus is on planet Earth’s future, maintaining the health of our eco-system and ensuring fair deals for producers, their employees and the consumers of organic products.
The people involved in this sector are quite particular. Those who are not completely into the philosophy of organic, usually aren’t involved at all – either you are passionate or you are just passive. The fact that these goals are matching our personal beliefs made easier the decision to move abroad and to volunteer at the IFOAM EU Group.
IFOAM is abbreviation for International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements and the EU Group is an office which operates at the European Union level. It brings together more than 160 organisations, associations and enterprises from all EU-28, EFTA and candidate countries. IFOAM’s goal is the worldwide adoption of ecologically, socially and economically sound systems that are based on the principles of Organic Agriculture.
Over last years, the organic sector has been rapidly developing in Europe, as well as in the rest of the planet. Since the start of the world’s economic downturn in 2008, there was a 25% growth of the global organic products market. We would love to see the same kind of development in the countries we come from. Through our voluntary work, we will do the best we can to make it happen.
Asta Donielaite (Lithuania) – Events area
Athanasia Champidi (Greece) – Regulation area
Ivan Marko Stazic (Croatia) – Communication area
Laura Maeso (Spain) – Policy area
Marie-Chiara Tort (France) – Research & Innovation area