Preface 40 years of existence. 40 years fighting to be heard, followed by more fighting to be listened to. 40 years of stories, experiences, achievements and victories. 40 years, in which likeminded people, from around the globe, have weaved in and out of the narrative that is IFOAM’s history. Sadly, some of the people who most profoundly marked IFOAM are no longer with us to reminisce on how far we have come, what our milestones have been. But their impact is never forgotten. Our movement has grown and continues to actively contribute to the development of IFOAM. Some have been involved since the early days and have honored us with their loyalty. Others are newcomers, fresh blood that helps us renew ourselves, bringing the younger generations of organically-minded people into our midst. Yet, despite all the positive meaning that anniversary celebrations like this one have, they always pose one major challenge: How can one do justice to the countless people who, over these past 40 years, have made a difference to us? How to avoid mentioning some, without omitting others? And what about those who worked behind the scenes, as volunteers, interns or others, whose names may have faded but whose sweat has brought us to where we are today? The conclusion is that this publication is inevitably flawed. It merely represents a reflection about the road we have travelled until today, where we have been and where we going. We are humbled by the unfaltering support of our movement, visible also through the many levels of engagement in our 40 Years’ Celebration of people from all over the world. Whether your involvement has been in person or virtual, sporadic or constant, one-off or repeated, planned or coincidental, we thank you all for letting IFOAM be part of your lives - and being part of IFOAM’s.
We would like to give a special ‘thank you’ to Alnatura who chose to cover, as a birthday present to IFOAM, the production costs of this publication.