With more than 13,000 members and beyond 900,000 hectares of organic certified production, the CAAE Association is a Spanish non-for-profit organization that works for the development of certified organic farming, counting among its objectives environmental protection and rural development. CAAE is part of the IFOAM EU Group and EOCC Boards and is one of the founding organizations of the Leading Organic Alliance (LOA).
Since its creation in 1991, the CAAE Association is defending sustainability, starting from the certified organic production sector. It implements and supports projects focusing on training, information and awareness of the society on the respect of the environment and the consumption of organic food, like the annual Organic Week taking place in Andalusia, Castile-La Mancha and Extremadura. The association also communicates on the social and environmental benefits of organic farming, organizing broadcasting campaigns and promoting initiatives aimed at the youth such as workshops for young people or Summer Camps for younger children, combining recreational activities with educational ones and organic meals. CAAE supports the producers and the industrial organic sector, highlighting them as best allies to mitigate climate change effects. It also fosters biodiversity through projects like the Diversification of Agrarian Landscapes in Andalusia delivering organic plants and trees for more than 10 years in order to improve both the rural landscape and the sustainability of the farms.
At the international level, and for a few years now, CAAE is developing a cooperation project in Peru to boost the organic production with the aim to improve life conditions sustainably in less-favored communities. It also works together with Portugal with the objective to share experiences and technical knowledge with the organization of congresses on the inter-relation between preservation of the environment and organic farming.
Among other activities, the association also promotes organic food and studies related to that sector, publishes scientific, technical and informative material and collaborates with other entities in the organization of events for the dissemination of information on the sustainable water management in organic production, benefits of the organic production methods to address climate change, use of renewable energies, responsible consumption, etc. Besides, CAAE makes proposals and provides assessment on organic production and sustainability, signing cooperation agreements at all levels.
Lots of companies registered in the CAAE Association are pioneers in sustainable initiatives linked to the use of clean energies, sustainable management of water or energy use, promotion of biodiversity, organic tourism, recycling, compost, bio-construction, etc. sharing their experiences in forums and conferences.
CAAE’s key message to Rio+20 would be that cooperation between organizations, when focusing on common objectives, provides very positive synergies. That kind of collaboration is the direction to take in order to obtain more and better results regarding sustainability and all related issues.