2021 was an extremely rainy year, posing challenges for copper minimization on farms with permanent and specialty crops. As it is clear that farmers and growers will have to prepare for more droughts and heavy rain, discussions on the future of copper minimisation at the 6th European Online Symposium on Copper as a Crop Protection Product, on 17 and 18 November, were very timely.
BÖLW, IFOAM Organics Europe and the Julius Kühn Institute, discussed which innovations can drive minimization and how policy can support the transformation, together with stakeholders from research, industry, practice and policy. On both days, more than 100 people attended the meeting and exchanged views with the speakers in German and English.
On November 17, German organic associations presented their current copper monitoring, and policymakers and practitioners also discussed the topic “Copper as a plant protection product in politics – New tailwind or headwind?”. On the first day of the conference, discussions were in German, with Mathilde Calmels from IFOAM Organics Europe, bringing a European perspective by presenting the European strategy for copper minimisation in organic farming (developed by IFOAM Organics Europe).
The second day of the conference focused more on technical aspects of copper reduction. The speakers presented research results of practical trials and innovative alternative products or strategies regarding the minimization of copper use. Many promising alternatives for copper minimisation were presented, and, as IFOAM Organics Europe, we drew the main conclusion that the organic sector remains proactive in developing an effective copper minimisation strategy, and further support from policy makers is expected to achieve this.
Could not attend the conference? Catch up on the BÖLW website where all speakers’ presentations are available!
Day two is carried out on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) as part of the Federal Program for Organic Farming and Other Forms of Sustainable Agriculture (BÖLN).