Joelle Katto Andrighetto

Joelle Katto-Andrighetto

Head of Policy & Guarantee, IFOAM –  Organics International

In 2017, we launched the ‘Global Policy Toolkit on Public Support to Organic Agriculture’, an overview of policies supporting organic agriculture along with tips and tools for advocates and policy-makers. 

As for any advocacy activity, it is important to know the local administration and political landscape, the political alliances that are in place, the attitudes of different parties and administration units toward environmental issues in general.

Most politicians dealing with agricultural issues will have some idea of what organic agriculture is, and its multiple benefits, but might be unsure of how best to support it.

IFOAM - Organics International: Global Policy Toolkit on Public Support to Organic Agriculture

This toolkit is aimed at anyone involved in advocating for pro-organic policies, designing them, or deciding on them. It is therefore aimed both at government representatives and private sector users.

Position Organic Agriculture

It is therefore important to think about how to position organic agriculture in political discourse. For example, in a country where environmental/health issues are very low on the agenda of the political majority, organic agriculture can be positioned as a promising high value market. Linking organic agriculture to economic benefits for local communities in terms of poverty alleviation, employment rate and/or increasing income can also be an appealing argument to politicians. The US organic Trade Association highlighted how this can work in their research and report on “Organic Hotspots” which shows that organic food and crop production and the business activities accompanying organic agriculture, can create real and long-lasting regional economic opportunities.

Showcase Success Stories

When advocating for change, showcasing positive experiences from other countries can be of great benefit and even inspire others to follow suit. Depending on the policy environment you are operating in, it might be better to advocate for organic in broader terms such as measures in favor of sustainable agriculture or policies that promote rural development and family farming. A good example of which can be seen in the EU where most policy measures that allocated a certain budget to “food quality schemes” ended up disproportionally benefiting organic agriculture.

In the coming months, we will take a closer look at ten ways policy-makers can promote organic agriculture:
  1. Fund organic research and extension
  2. Include organic in agricultural education (vocational training and academic programs)
  3. Fund organic consumer education campaigns
  4. Support PGS development
  5. Collect and compile data on organic agriculture
  6. Start/increase organic public procurement
  7. Stop subsidizing chemical fertilizers and pesticides
  8. Subsidize organic certification
  9. Subsidize investments on organic farming
  10. Compensate organic farmers for positive externalities
Read More About: Tips for Organic AdvocatesDownload: Global Policy Toolkit on Public Support to Organic Agriculture
Joelle Katto Andrighetto

Joelle Katto-Andrighetto, IFOAM – Organics International

Joelle manages the IFOAM Organic Guarantee System, including the IFOAM Family of Standards program, the IFOAM Accreditation Program, and the IFOAM Standard. She chairs the various technical committees that work on the development of the IFOAM Norms, namely the IFOAM Standard Committee, the IFOAM Accreditation Requirements Committee, and the IFOAM Standards Requirements Committee. Joelle also oversees the IFOAM PGS Program (Participatory Guarantee Systems) as well as advocacy efforts to promote organic market access.