The Organic Center represents U.S. organic at four speaking events in China with community building in mind

Dr. Amber Sciligo, Director of Science Programs at The Organic Center’s Science, was hosted by various public and private organizations across four regions of China, September 1-14, 2023. She was invited by IFOAM Asia to represent the USA alongside organic researchers from 15 countries to speak among peers from TIPI and ISOFAR, two science-related branches of IFOAM Organics International. The four organic research-related events had two major goals in mind: exchange knowledge about the successes and challenges facing organic farmers across the globe and strengthen the relationships between leaders in organic research to encourage collaboration that supports accelerated industry advancement.  

When resources are limited, as is often the case when it comes to most things organic versus its counterpart, more can be accomplished through partnerships with complimentary organizations and individuals. These partnerships must be built at all scales from local communities to global cooperation. IFOAM Asia’s ambitious vision and execution of these international organic events helped move the needle in this direction, bringing together scientist representatives from sometimes disparate countries to exchange knowledge with each other and local governments to increase commonality and diplomacy. Ultimately, these networking opportunities will lead to new collaborations that will allow organic research efforts to build off one another instead of reinventing wheels in their silos.  

Dr. Sciligo was given four speaking opportunities across the two-week trek through China and presented the following talks: 

  • “Organic Management for Building Soil Health and Drought Tolerance,” 1st International Conference on Organic Agriculture in Deserts and Drylands, with about 150 participants from 12 countries. The event was co-hosted by IFOAM Asia, China Shengmu Organic Milk Limited, in Bayanuur, Inner Mongolia.  

  • “Benefits of Organic and Importance of Communicating Organic Research Results to Consumers,” Guest lecture for 40 students and faculty of the Department of Resources and Environmental Sciences, China Agriculture University, at West Campus, Beijing  

  • “Strengthening Organic Agriculture through Consumer Education and Research,” International Symposium on Organic Agriculture Innovation Research, with 10 international and 40 national participants. The event was hosted by The Organic Recycling Research Institute of the China Agricultural University, in Suzhou 

  • “Strengthening Organic Agriculture through Consumer Education and Research,” 4th Xichong Asia Organic Industrial Innovation Summit, with about 300 international and national attendees. The event was hosted by the mayor of Xichong County and co-organized by IFOAM-Asia, in Xichong County, Sichuan Province.

International guests hosted at each of these events were sent on excursions to learn more about the organic supply chain in China, gain inspiration from visits to successful organic farms, and build relationships over general sight-seeing adventures, like the visit to the mountains bordering Mongolia and the race to the top of the sand dunes in the Ulan Buh Desert. 

Dr. Sciligo looks forward to continuing to nurture the relationships built on this trip and grow The Organic Center’s international network of organic scientists to collectively advance impactful research that benefits the organic sector worldwide.  


Take a look at Dr. Sciligo photos from her trip on our Facebook.