Civil society organizations have to lead by Julia Lernoud, El Rincón Orgánico (Argentina) 23 years ago, El Rincón Orgánico started with the principle that one should first feed your own home and then the world. The organic sector in Argentina has mainly focused on exporting food to the main consumer countries; that is why María Calzada and Pipo Lernoud founded the distribution scheme and the shop. At the beginning the idea was to get organic products for their family and friends. By that time they were producing squash and cereals for the global market and some veggies for their own consumption. But as conventional agriculture started to be seen as increasingly toxic, the demand for better products grew. María started to contact all the local organic producers and coordinate a supply of their products. And the local market started to appear. After two decades of knocking on doors, offering organic, fresh and local produce, we have an increasing organic local market with groceries, restaurants, markets, specialised stores. All these experiences teaches us that the biggest changes come from the ground up, when people get together under one same objective. We understood we couldn't wait for the institutions to
make the first step - civil society needs to lead the change. This is a crucial point for the kind of conferences, like Rio+20, where the most important actions and results are the ones that come from the people. Today, climate change, world hunger, deficient health and education systems are a fact that everybody can acknowledge, and we shouldn't wait any longer for others to take action. Civil society organizations have to lead. That is why we are pleased to be part of the big family that is the organic movement and to cooperate with IFOAM in working for the world we all want. Much was achieved in these 40 years, and that shows the importance of collective effort. As the title of one IFOAM annual report stated: “One World, Many Hands.” As members of this big family, we believe that part of our daily work is to promote this philosophy. That's the reason why El Rincón Orgánico continues organizing public events and free seminars, and trying to get involved in places we have never been, like rock concerts and film festivals, to bring the organic lifestyle to the whole world. We encourage all IFOAM members to take action and help IFOAM to take organic to the next level.