EISA: Transitioning onwards for Sustainable Agriculture
Founded in May 2001 by agricultural associations from six European countries, the European Initiative for Sustainable Development in Agriculture has actively promoted the holistic concept of ‘Integrated Farming’ as a guideline for sustainable development of agriculture in the EU. Together with seven associate members from both upstream and downstream sectors of agriculture, the initiative cemented a shared vision to create a united voice for sustainable agriculture with a view to advocating means to enable a practical implementation on the ground.
Having been set up at a time when sustainability was a buzzword slowly filtering into many sectors’ priority focus areas, EISA has served as a beacon for farming in Europe to establish a firm foothold not only for being a proponent of sustainable practices, but also of being a strong voice calling for policies that support more efficient and responsible agriculture and access to the necessary tools for farmers to make responsible decisions.
Today, sustainable agriculture is a term commonly used in the EU Common Agricultural Policy and far beyond. Many ideas and strategies promoted by EISA have made their way into agricultural policies at both European and national level. These developments are a key achievement and recognition that the initiative has met its main objectives. After these 17 years of successful collaborations with our membership, following the general agreement that a focus is now due at national level for further shaping and implementing measures for sustainable agriculture, EISA has decided to transition onwards and cease activities in their current form.
Moving beyond the European scope, national and global strategies for sustainable farming practices and implementation will increasingly be needed, so a continued network of interested parties is a welcome progression.
EISA members and associate members join together to express their appreciation for the demonstrated interest and support for EISA’s activities, and look forward to a new phase of cooperation under a mutual network of associations sharing best practices and working together when suitable to further sustainable agriculture in Europe.
The European Initiative for Sustainable Development in Agriculture (EISA), founded in 2001, represented national organisations from six EU Member States active in Integrated Farm Management (IFM) as Full Members: FARRE (Forum des Agriculteurs Responsables Respectueux de l’Environnement), FILL (Förderverein Integrierte Landbewirtschaftung, Luxemburg), GOSZ (Grain Producers’ Organisation, Hungary), LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming, United Kingdom), OiB (Odling i Balans, Sweden), and Skylark Foundation (Netherlands). EISA was supported by AnimalhealthEurope, European Crop Protection Association (ECPA), European Landowners’ Organization (ELO), European Feed Manufacturers’ Federation (FEFAC), Fertilizers Europe, Sustainable Agriculture Initiative Platform (SAI Platform) as well as Cool Farm Alliance (CFA) as associations of the up- and downstream sectors of agriculture as Associate Members. All EISA members promote Integrated Farming as a holistic approach to sustainable development in agriculture in Europe.