Newsletter Volume 18 – November 2022
This is the eighteenth newsletter of Organic Egypt project. It reviews our activities in November 2022 and illustrates all interventions conducted with our partners IDAM and Demeter Egypt (EBDA).
We hope you are all doing well and hope you enjoy the reading!
Stay safe and healthy!
TRAININGS AND WORKSHOPS FOR PARTNER ASSOCIATIONS
Organizational Development Workshop with IDAM
Organic Egypt organized a 2 days workshop on organizational development for its partner association IDAM. The workshop was conducted in a village in Minia with the participation of 12 IDAM team members. The consultant started with reviewing IDAM’s strategy and their SWOT analysis as well as their action plan, and if it’s aligned with their vision, mission and values. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) were discussed and we elaborated, which SDGs are covered by IDAM’s outcomes and goals. IDAM’s team got many insights on how to further develop their strategy paper.
On the next day, the focus was mainly on IDAM’s advocacy activities and if they are included in their strategy paper. And since IDAM did many workshops on the new Egyptian organic law and how it can be implemented and how they can support their farmers, thus, we concluded that advocacy activities need to be clearly mentioned in their strategic paper.
By the end of the workshop, we talked about the internal processes of IDAM and how they could be improved. The workshop was a very important step for IDAM to further develop their strategy and align it with their activities.
EDUCATIONAL AND AWARENESS RAISING CAMPAIGNS
Recipe Videos for consumer awareness
In cooperation with RDNA and Organic Egypts to raise awareness, RDNA is producing and sharing recipe videos which are healthy, engaging and easy to do at home. The recipe videos are a short, fun, visual way to communicate with the consumers. This November the recipe videos included dishes like Lemon Tahini Broccoli and Cauliflower Soup as well as Creamy Spiced Apple Oatmeal and the best chicken noodle Soup. The recipe videos include products from IDAM and EBDA partner farms, as well as other organic and clean products. They can be watched on the social media platforms of RDNA and Organic Egypt.
The excursions supported by RDNA and Organic Egypt are designed to bring consumers closer to farmers and producers. In November, an excursion was organized to Hazel Farm, which is an organic farm that is built around the concept of agritainment, meaning hosting consumers in a fun and educational space to learn more about organic cultivation. The excursion included various activities including a farm tour, organic vegetables and fruit picking “shopping in nature”, tractor tour and a delicious farm to fork lunch and lots of educational games for children. 23 adults and 19 kids participated in the excursion, and it was a day full of joy in nature.
Farmers and Processors Market
Organic Egypt in cooperation with RDNA, implements Farmers and Processors Markets in an open space at KMT house, Maadi in Cairo. The November farmers and processors market focused on natural cosmetics and personal care as well as other eco products from small scale suppliers. This market was conducted in partnership with the “Beehive” which focuses on arts and music festivals and contributed with a large number of activities such as dance, music and painting. 10 vendors participated in this market.
NEW INNOVATIVE SERVICES OF OUR PARTNER ASSOCIATIONS
Organic Agriculture Input Exhibition
An exhibition for organic agricultural inputs was done in cooperation by various projects supporting organic agriculture at the Heliopolis University. Around 40 companies specialized in producing organic and natural agricultural supplies presented their products. The exhibition was well attended by around 700 visitors of various backgrounds like farmers, researchers, farm owners and interested people that were networking and exchanging telephone numbers and emails to facilitate communication in the future. The exhibition also included presentations and lectures for some entities and companies discussing topics such as the Economy of Love carbon credits and Integrated Pest Management and many other topics related to organic farming.
Attending the Future Economy Forum at Heliopolis Universtiy
Organic Egypt team participated in the Future Economy Forum, which was held at the Heliopolis University (HU) for two days.The Forum was attended by national and international entrepreneurs and researchers, who are interested in finding sustainable solutions for mitigating climate change. During the forum three parallel sessions were held:
1- The agriculture session, that was discussing the role of agriculture as a solution for climate change
2- The business session, that was discussing the role of business across corporate functions, supply and value chains
3- And the Capital session, that was discussing the role of finance including the impact of environmental, social and governance (ESG) banking
Then sub-groups were formed, where the issues of each sector were discussed more in detail and each group exchanged their point of view on solutions that could save our planet and solve the climate change crisis, such as establishing the Economy of Love standard that promotes sustainable agriculture practices with validating the carbon that was sequestered by issuing carbon credits that can be sold on the global market. Eventually, all the discussed points and possible solutions were a preparation for the Climate Conference COP 27, that was held this year in Egypt.
Participation of EBDA and IDAM in COP 27
Our partners, Demeter Egypt (EBDA) and the Integral Development Action of Minia (IDAM) participated in COP 27, this year’s UN Climate Change Conference in Sharm El Sheikh. They attended a range of events in the Blue and Green Zones as well as various side events that took place there.
Representatives of the partner association had the opportunity to speak with presidents, prime ministers and CEO’s of global companies as well as indigenous leaders which inspired them very much. EBDA was invited to speak at several events, where they always promoted and represented the biodynamic farmers, that are, as they believe, the „Climate Heroes“, stewards of the land, handling highly complex ecosystems, regenerating soil and biodiversity and providing healthy food.
As the local farmer association, EBDA has developed the Economy of Love (EoL) standard, aiming to strive for a holistic transformation of their farms and partner companies. Within this EoL standard they are financially rewarding their biodynamic farmers for their ecosystem services (planting trees, applying crop rotation & cover crops, installing renewable energy and increasing compost production), through agriculture Carbon credits. This standard provides regenerative farmers a higher income compared to conventional farmers.
Besides all the COP events, EBDA cohosted, together with Future Economy Forum, NOW Partners, Heliopolis University and the SEKEM initiative, a series of Future Economy Form Solutions Dialogues opened for everyone to participate with high level speakers. Around 200 participants attended these side events every day with great networking opportunities. Furthermore, in cooperation with the UNDP, UNDP Accelerator Labs, the Zero Fund and Economy of Love, a virtual campaign called www.zeroCOP27.com was developed as a pilot project to encourage individuals and companies to offset the carbon footprint of their travel and stay at COP 27 in Egypt.
Attending the Changemakers Climate Change Event
Organic Egypt project was invited to attend the ChangemakerXchange event at KMT house. ChangemakerXchange is a global community of 800 of the world’s most dedicated social entrepreneurs, innovators and activists from 100+ countries. They are running on- and offline summits and activities worldwide to provide supportive, fun and empowering spaces for changemakers in order to foster profound connections, learn from each other and collaborate towards creating, sustaining and scaling positive change. The event was full of networking activities, and each one from the community introduced himself and his initiatives or activities that he carries out in order to preserve the environment. The presentation of the activities was very inspiring, and everyone benefited from the experience of the other.
Water – Food – Energy Neuxes policymaking workshop
Organic Egypt project was invited to attend a policy-making workshop with GEBAL and GIZ. The workshop consisted of a one-day training session, attended by representatives of different Egyptian ministries, universities, the League of Arab States, the EU, the private sector, research institutions, and the financial sector. During the day, the main question was how can policy-makers and planners implement the Water-Energy-Food-Nexus on a daily basis? What is the level of thematic and institutional integration needed, and what tools are there to use for exploring these questions. The group work and discussions led to interesting and innovative ideas that will inform the next steps in order to upscaling Nexus Farming in Egypt; Water, Energy and Food. In addition to all these insightful brainstorming, the day was a good opportunity to network and meet with different people from different backgrounds that have one objective, which is, to make the agriculture sector in Egypt more sustainable.