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November 30 - December 1, 2009: Workshop Organic Food Authentication: Challenge or Utopia? in Geel, Belgium

The rapid development of the organic sector brings new challenges for the international organic food certification and guarantee systems. In this context, the development of a strategy to authenticate organic food products is highly desirable in support to the certification and inspection systems. A workshop in Geel, Belgium will present a balanced overview of the state-of-the-art research in this topic.

grains. Picture: JRC

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Geel, Belgium

Organic agriculture is developing rapidly and its share of agricultural land and farms continues to grow in many countries. Policy makers have approved support for the development of organic farming as a sustainable agricultural system. In the European Union, such support includes the European Union’s rural development programmes, the recently revised EU regulation on organic farming and the European Action Plan on Organic Food and Farming.

The rapid development of the organic sector and the ever-increasing demand for organic products brings new challenges for the international organic food certification and guarantee systems. Organic produce remains amongst the most difficult to monitor and control. Indeed, currently all scientists can do is test for what should not be there (e.g. chemical pesticide residues).

In this context, the development of a strategy to authenticate organic food products is highly desirable in support to the certification and inspection systems. By bringing together the main groups working in the field, this workshop will present a balanced overview of the state-of-the-art research in this topic. Participants will have the opportunity to brainstorm and identify the best approaches for meeting the challenges of organic food authentication.

Themes of the workshop

  • regulations and certification systems
  • fraud cases
  • potential “markers”
  • potential analytical tools
  • challenges & research needs

Presentations

Oral presentations are 45 minutes for invited contributions and 20 minutes for regular contributions. One poster session is foreseen. The Scientific Committee will inform participants about the selection of oral and poster presentations by 30 September 2009. Subjects must refer to the authentication issue but on any non-processed or processed organic food commodities as well as organic feed.

Abstracts and full contributions

The deadline for abstract submission is 31 August 2009. Abstracts and posters will be published in the proceedings. Printed copies for the participants and an electronic version for general distribution will be made available. Instructions for the format of the abstract and the full paper will be available on the workshop website. Both should be submitted in electronic format in accordance with the guidelines. It is also intended to publish the contributions in a peer-review journal.

The organisers

The event is organised by the Joint Research Centre JCR/Institute for reference Materials and Measurements of of the European Commission. The mission of the JRC is to provide customer-driven scientific and technical support for the conception, development, implementation and monitoring of EU policies. As a service of the European Commission, the JRC functions as a reference centre of science and technology for the Union. 

In the Scientific Committee of the workshop, scientists, representatives of the European Commission and of the organic sector are represented.

More information

Links and documents

Workshop homepage

Workshop leaflet

Joint Research Centre JCR

Contact

Dr Alain MAQUET
Food Safety and Quality Unit
Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements - IRMM
Retieseweg, 111
B-2440 GEEL (BELGIUM)
Tel. +32 14 571817
irmm.jrc.ec.europa.eu

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