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ecology farming nr 3 // June 2011

IFOAM

AND

HANS HERREN

Agua From ecological researcher to activist

SOIL AND MORE

Standards For Organic Aquaculture: A BRIEF HISTORY OF ORGANIC AQUACULTURE

Jamie Oliver

“Food should be fun”


Table of Con tents

JUNE 2011 // NR 3

Politics Smallholder organic farming 10 

interview Jamie Oliver: 18 

versus GMOs

 Are GMOs needed to feed the

“Food should be fun”

 Berward Geier talked with world

world population, or are they part of the problem?

Country reports Country focus Argentina 14   Argentina has a large area under

famous chef Jamie Oliver about children and food.

in Tunisia

 Tunisia’s political landscape changed dramatically this year, but Elke Peiler expects that the future government will continue supporting organic agriculture which is a success story.

Researchers and other specialists

38  Hans Herren:

on organic food gathered in Prague to discuss whether the quality of organic food really contributes to the health of consumers.

From ecological researcher to activist

 Nick Parrott talked with Hans Herren, scientist turned activist and co-author of the IASSTD report.

organic certification. Most of it is very low input farming in Patagonia and the pampas.

42  The organic sector

EVENTS First international conference 30 

44  Rio+20

Innovation in agriculture Soil and More 22 

 wenty years after the first global T UN conference on biodiversity in Rio, there is a follow up planned for 2012. What are IFOAM’s plans to contribute to discussions about a ‘Green Economy’?

 Turning desert into good agricultu­ ral land: Soil & More reports about projects in Egypt and elsewhere.

Market & economy Trends in the trade of 26 

Aquaculture A brief history of organic 34 

sustainable coffees Coffee is the world’s most

valuable traded conventional, fair trade and organic agricultural commodity.

Politics 10 Smallholder organic farming versus GMOs - By Andre Leu

World hunger is steadily increasing. The discussion is if GMOs are needed to feed the world population, or vpart of the problem?

aquaculture Global organic aquaculture has been constantly increasing its production over the past ten years. Standard setting involves bringing together the holistic concept of organic production and the reality of the aquaculture industry.

And more.... Editorial 5 News 6 Column by Gunnar Rundgren 7 Calendar 49

Innovation in agriculture 22 Soil and More - By Tobias Bandel Composting does not sound like hi-tech innovation, but when you do it well, you can turn desert into good agricultural land. Soil & More reports about projects in Egypt and elsewhere.

ECOLOGY & FARMING | 3-2011

3


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introduction

Denise Godinho

Peter Brul

Affordable and effective Organic agriculture offers affordable and effec-

Will the Green Economy prioritize agricultural

tive practices that are highly accessible to the

production that alleviates hunger and starva-

poor and that build the resilience and liveli-

tion, or will it continue down the path of satisfy-

hoods of farms and communities. The debates

ing growing market demand for commodities,

around ‘The Green Economy’, in preparation for

such as processed foods and ingredients,

the Rio+20 conference in 2012 leave no doubt

textiles, biofuels, plastics and other industrial

that a stable economic framework is required

feedstock?

to ensure that issues such as sustainable development and poverty eradication can actually

These and many other questions need to be

be implemented.

addressed and will require our attention in the coming months. The ongoing debates will

Yet, the implications of a shift towards a Green

offer our movement the opportunity to push for

Economy remain unclear: will it mean a move

recognition of the fact that multi-faceted, holis-

towards local production and consumption or

tic, agro-ecological approaches, exemplified by

greener transport? Or will it mean drought tole-

organic agriculture, can significantly contribute

rant GM Maize being labelled green because of

to reducing poverty - while ensuring price com-

its water-saving potential, and more industrial

petitiveness on the global market.

feedlots being rewarded for capturing the biogas from the effluent they generate?

These debates will have practical consequences: if we manage to get this recognition trans-

Will it mean greater support for the livelihoods

lated into policy recommendations across the

of the world’s 1.5 billion smallholder farmers?

world, this could lead to an important boost in

Or will farmers be increasingly lured into debt

the uptake of organic agriculture worldwide,

to pay for ‘climate-smart’ inputs - or simply

and an increase in the supply of organic pro-

deprived of their livelihoods as they are pushed

ducts. And with this, the distance from niche to

from their land to make way for industrial scale

mainstream will have further narrowed.

green investments and the outsourcing of food production by food insecure nations?

ECOLOGY & FARMING | 3-2011

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// Canada and EU agree on equivalency of organic products Canada introduced its Canada Organic Biologique logo just two years ago, bringing together the previous hotchpotch of voluntary and mandatory organic certification that was spread

News // Growing a better future // A new Oxfam campaign A broken food system and environmental crises will result in millions more hungry people, according to Oxfam at the launch of its international campaign, GROW, which highlights the need to urgently transform the way we grow and share food. The GROW campaign – supported by Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Lula, the former President of Brazil, actress Scarlett Johansson and former Masterchef Australia winner Julie Goodwin – aims to help create a world where everyone has enough to eat. Oxfam’s new report “Growing a Better Future” explains the world’s broken food system, showing how rising food prices, the increasing scarcity of arable land and water and a rapidly changing climate will undermine people’s access to food across the world. Executive Director of Oxfam Australia, Andrew Hewett said: “Although the world produces enough food for everyone, the broken food system means one in seven people are still going hungry. Oxfam was created in response to the food crisis caused by the Second World War in 1942, but this is a new food crisis that threatens us all. Our research

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3-2011 | ECOLOGY & FARMING

across the different provinces. Its Organic Products Regulations now require all Canadian organic products to be endorsed by a certification body accredited by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). The Canadian and EU decision on organic equivalency follow discussions between the European Commission and the CFIA, reviews of the two sets of organic rules and spot checks of control measures in both territories. “The review of each others’ rules for organic production and control systems have led to the conclusion that in the EU and Canada the rules governing production and controls of organic

shows that the world’s food system faces unprecedented future challenges, as growth in agricultural yields flatlines, the availability of land, water and fertilizers declines and the impacts of climate change increase.” Mr Hewett said that Australians, having encountered rising food prices after the Queensland floods, understood all too well how vulnerable food supplies are to the effects of extreme weather. “The Australian government and businesses must help to urgently reform the global food system, and they can start by dealing swiftly with the increasing impact of climate change on food production by securing a global agreement on climate change”. “The Australian aid programme also reflects the global trend over recent decades of declining investment in the food and agricultural sectors of developing countries. We must address this and prioritize support for small-scale primary producers who make up more than 80 per cent of the world’s hungry people. For the second time in just three years, we are seeing world food prices hit their highest recorded point ever. At the upcoming G20 meeting in Cannes in November, the Australian Government needs to push for real action to address skyrocketing food

agricultural products are equivalent to those laid down in each other’s legislation,” the European Commission (EC) said in a statement on Friday. The regulation that added Canada to the list of recognized countries was published by the EU on 21 June 2011. Canada confirmed in writing on 23 June 2011 that it now recognizes all EU organic products as equivalent to the Canadian Organic Products Regulation. The equivalency reached will facilitate and boost trade in agricultural organic products between the EU and Canada and the respective organic logos will be authorized to be used in each other’s markets.

prices by regulating commodity markets and reforming flawed US and EU biofuels policies.”

The main findings of the report i­nclude: • By 2050, demand for food will rise by 70 per cent, yet production is not keeping pace. The growth rate in agricultural yields has almost halved since 1990 and is set to decline to a fraction of one per cent by 2020. • The price of staple foods such as maize, already at an all time high, will more than double in the next 20 years. Up to half of this increase will be due to climate change. • US biofuel policies cause 15 per cent of the world’s maize to be diverted to engines, even at times of food crisis. The grain required to fill the petrol tank of a SUV with biofuel is sufficient to feed one person for a year.


Gunnar Rundgren Sowing the seeds

// Organic Marketing Forum 2011, Warsaw 6th International Meeting on the Processing and Marketing Organic Products and Raw Materials, Warsaw. ‘Organic and Communication –Successful Together’ was the motto for this the sixth meeting of market stakeholders from nearly 30 countries. The international event for producers, processors and marketers of organic products and raw materials took place on the 26th and 27th of May in the Polish capital. For the first time also a federation of several CentralAsian Associations represented the organic sector in their region. A growing number of visitors and exhibitors came from Russian-speaking countries Bernhard Jansen, Director of EkoConnect, the organizers of the event summed up his impressions of the 6th Forum. “The significance of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) for the organic sector is continuously growing. CEE offers opportunities as a sales market for organic products. It is also growing in importance as a supplier of raw materials and beginning to offer a wider range of high quality organic products under brand names and private labels”. The theme of the initiating presentation, by Felix Prinz zu Löwenstein (of BöLW) was on the importance of organic farming in feeding the world. He pointed out that world hunger will neither be beaten by genetic engineering nor by increasing the level of mechanization. The key is traditional, improved, small-scale agriculture, organic farming and changing consumer’s behaviour. There were a number of other contributions about marketing and management at all levels of the supply chain, with particularly highly informative contributions from single CEE countries including Russia, Bulgaria, Hungary and Poland and to specific market sectors, which were all well received.

Co lumn

Trying to nail down what organic farming really is and what it really means is much more difficult than any of us could have imagined. As soon as we leave behind the no-no definition (no chemical fertilizers, no chemical pesticides) it gets hard. IFOAM’s definition says “Organic agriculture is a production system that sustains the health of soils, ecosystems and people. It relies on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted to local conditions, rather than the use of inputs with adverse effects.” I have a slowly growing view that organic agriculture should be defined as regenerative agriculture in the widest sense. It is a farming system that regenerates its own production capacity and potential (credit to Jules Pretty who wrote a book called Regenerative Agriculture and also to the Rodale Institute which often uses the term, even if not in exactly the same sense as I mean here). This term highlights that regeneration and reproduction are as essential in the farming system as production; that it is just as important to regenerate the conditions for farming as it is to farm. This perspective makes it quite obvious that crop rotations and bio-diversity are more desirable on your farm than buying ‘Fertility Bags’ of chemical fertilisers or ‘Pest Control’ in the shape of plastic drums full of poison. From this perspective, it doesn’t really matter much whether a particular input is good or bad, or even if it is natural or synthetic; what matters is whether it assists you in regenerating the farming system. It also becomes clear why a farm has to be a living place that is part of a living rural society, because that is the only way to maintain people on farms and, without people and thriving communities there is no regeneration. It also explains why organic farms should have good working conditions, because without that there is no future for the farms. Regenerating the people who work on the farm, the community of which the farm is a part, the fertility of the soil, the water used and the biological diversity – ultimately relies on just one external input - the sun. This brings us very close to the principles that, for millennia, have guided peasant farming all over the world. Peasants have avoided all kinds of ‘purchased’ inputs, be they credit, salaried labour or pesticides and fertilisers. Instead they prefer to rely on their own capacity, and the capacity of local communities and local ecosystems, to regenerate their systems. This is also the way that peasants try to keep their autonomy from the market and from loan sharks. There is nothing inherently wrong in being dependent on other people, so the idea of autonomy and self-regeneration should not be taken too far. The idea should work at a scale that embraces and regenerates whole communities. In this way sowing organic seeds can also contribute to growing a new and better world.

ECOLOGY & FARMING | 3-2011

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// BioFach China 2011: Successful 5th anniversary BioFach China celebrated its fifth anniversary this year and saw a 27% increase in visitors to the INTEX Shanghai Exhibition Centre for the fair that took place between the 26th and the 28th May 2011. 14,613 participants travelled from 33 countries to what was so far the most successful edition of the only trade fair for certified organic products in China. The exhibition space was fully booked with more exhibitors than ever before: 342 manufacturers, 13% of them from outside China, presented their organic produce. The congress

News

programme gave people the opportunity to learn more about the latest themes and fresh trends in the national and international organic market. Montalto a manufacturer of natural personal care products was represented at the fair: “We made use of BioFach China to develop a feeling for what makes the organic sector in China tick. Is the Chinese market yet prepared for natural personal care products? Our products attracted great interest from the visitors. There was even coverage from a Chinese TV station, which filmed our stand,” said a delighted Enrica Cagnoni. Mr. Lian, General Manager of Linyi Jianghu Gongmi Rice, said: “This was our first time exhibiting at BioFach China. On the first day we were already more than satisfied: we concluded several contracts with supermarket chains directly on the stand. The long trip to Shanghai from our base in Shandong Providence (in the north east of China) where we cultivate organic rice, has really paid off.

// Organic Farm ­Management Handbook Published The new edition of the Organic Farm Management Handbook is now available, published by the Organic Research Centre at Elm Farm near Newbury. The authors are Nic Lampkin, Marc Measures and Susanne Padel, who were also responsible for the previous editions. This is a ‘must have’ publication for anyone interested in the business of organic farming – covering a broad range of market, certification, policy, financial and technical infor-

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3-2011 | ECOLOGY & FARMING

Zhang Chen, Assistant General Manager at Tony’s Farm was also pleased with their participation in the fair.

“We met all our potential business partners and many industry experts who came to visit the show. In recent years the quality has increased enormously – the visitors and the fair itself are becoming increasingly professional. Next year we will almost definitely be participating again!” The next BioFach China will be held from 24th to 26th May 2012 at the INTEX Shanghai Exhibition Centre.

mation about different organic systems and enterprises. A new edition as we emerge from the recession and prepare for the next phase of CAP reform is timely.   The handbook reflects honestly the difficulties that the organic sector has faced in the market place ( especially in the UK), but also shows the evidence from the Farm Business Survey that organic farms have in general maintained income levels and continue to perform as well as similar non-organic farms. Looking forward, increasing general food prices and a potential recovery in the UK organic market (which has continued to grow elsewhere in Europe and globally despite the recession) mean that prospects for organic farming maintaining its profitability are good.  

Coupled with the serious attention now being given to the role of organic farming by the European Commission as part of the CAP Reform debate and the very positive attention from FAO and other UN organizations, now may be the time to start thinking again about the potential of converting to organic farming. The handbook is the ideal reference source on conversion to and continued organic farming for farmers, growers, consultants, bankers, land agents, buyers, students and many more in the temperate climate zone.  

Copies are available at £18.50 plus £1.50 p&p in the UK, with a discount available for bulk orders and trade purchasers – for further information visit www.organicresearchcentre. com, e-mail elmfarm@organicresearchcentre. com.


// Germany’s recent food poisoning outbreak In recent weeks 47 people have died and more than 3,000 became ill in the north of Germany and other European countries because of a food disease. When the first people came to hospital with bloody diarrhea, analyses showed that they were infected with EHEC bacteria (enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli). EHEC is part of the E.coli bacteria group, a very common intestinal bacteria. EHEC is a very aggressive form that is poisonous in even very small amounts. Hospitals could only try to create the best circumstances for their patients to survive, but did not have the means to fight the bacterial disease itself, because it is resistant to almost all antibiotics. The authorities had difficulties in finding the source of the problems and this took several weeks. The assumption that vegetables like cucumber, tomatoes and lettuce were the transmitters of the infection has caused tremendous financial damage to vegetable growers and traders. Finally the Robert Koch Institute came to the conclusion that bean sprouts from an organic producer, ‘Gärtnerhof Bienenbüttel’ in the North of Germany were the source of the infection. The farm, organic since 1978, produced a range of fresh sprouts that were distributed to health food shops and restaurants in the region. Production follows HACCP since 1998, and has been global gap certified since 2004. Sprouts are known as a very sensitive media for bacterial infection since the warm and humid conditions they are grown in are also ideal for bacterial growth. Despite the strictly controlled circumstances, such disasters can happen. Food borne illnesses caused by EHEC are quite common, it is estimated that in the

United States alone it causes to 36,000 illnesses, 1,000 hospitalizations and 30 deaths every year. Because it was unclear for several weeks what the source was, because very many people became sick and died and because local authorities blamed a range of different products, the effect on the consumption of fruits and vegetables lasted for a long period. Russia closed its borders to vegetable imports from Europe. The German market for fresh vegetables, such as cucumbers, tomatoes and lettuce collapsed. The damage for market gardeners and traders was and is enormous.

The growers will get some financial support from the European Union, traders probably not. There are still many questions to be answered, but it is almost sure that the sprouts from the organic farm in the north of Germany were the cause of the infection. At this stage it is too early to link the infection to the fact that the sprouts were produced in an organic way. It seems that the EHEC bacteria did not come from animal manure that was not well composted, but they came in through seeds of red beet. The entire chain has to be analyzed to found out what happened, how such an infection develops and what can be done to prevent it happening again. However,

News it might be that a lot of questions will remain unanswered. Until now the media in general has not linked the problems to the fact that this farm was organic, except for some of the usual opponents of organic agriculture. When EHEC occurs, it normally comes from animal products. From research it is known that the chance of EHEC contamination is lower in organic production. The danger of EHEC lies in

it being extremely poisonous in low concentrations and resistant to many antibiotics. The widespread use of antibiotics in conventional intensive animal production and in conventional medicine has caused more and more bacteria to develop resistance against antibiotics. Organic farming uses no antibiotics or only in cases where animals are really sick and there is no alternative, as this is the best way to prevent development of antibiotic resistance. The use of good compost in vegetable production should also be a good guarantee against development of pathogens. More research is needed to find out how and why this occurred and what can be done to prevent any such recurrence.

ECOLOGY & FARMING | 3-2011

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By andre leu

What is a better solution to world hunger?

SMALLHOLDER ORGANIC FARMING VERSUS GMOs According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) world hunger has been steadily increasing since 1995 and affected 925 million people in 2010. The response from several governments and industry organisations has been that GMOs are necessary to produce the extra food needed to feed the world.

T

his response needs to be analyzed in the context of the current increases in world hunger, current patterns of

food production and the recent rises in agricultural commodity prices. Can GMOs feed the world? The data from FAO shows that the number of hungry people decreased slowly between 1969-71 and 1995-97. Since then they have increased every year (except 2010 when they fell back somewhat from the ‘spike’ of 2009). This turn around coincided exactly with the beginning of the commercial cultivation of GMOs. The increase in the number of hungry people and the increase in the number of hectares planted to GMOs mirror each other. This is not a coincidence. It is because the major GMO crops, maize, soy and cotton, are traded as commodities. One of the key issues that can be drawn from FAO data is that these trends mirror each other (see figures 1 and 2). This is not a coincidence. It is because the major GMO crops, maize, soy and cotton, are traded as commodities. One of the key issues that can be drawn from FAO data is

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3-2011 | ECOLOGY & FARMING


Politics Figure1

Global planting of GMOs Source: gmocompass 120

100

80

60

40

20

0

1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008

Figure 2

Number of undernourished people in the world Source: FAO

that the number of hungry people is not related to the level of food production, as the world already produces more than enough food to satisfactorily nourish everyone. It is due to the way that the global economy distributes food as a commodity. According to the FAO: ‘Global cereal harvests have been strong for the past several years – even as the number of undernourished people was rising – but the overall impro-

Figure 3

Over 170 million suffered due to food commodity pricing

vement in food security in 2010 reflects improved access to food through the expected resumption of economic growth … but food prices in most low-income food-deficit countries remain above the pre-crisis level of early 2008, negatively affecting access to food by vulnerable populations’ (FAO, 2010). There is more than enough suitable agricultural land to feed everybody. Yet much of the land currently under cultivation is not being used productively or efficiently. Inefficient, unfair distribution systems, agricultural commodity speculation, poor farming methods and political crises are

ECOLOGY & FARMING | 3-2011

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the causes of global hunger. The agribusiness model

GMOs are now being proposed as the solution to hun-

of commodity production is a key reason why hunger

ger, with proponents arguing that they can find genes

continues to rise. World food production is at an all-time

to fix every problem; providing plants and animals that

high, but it is not getting to the hungry simply because

give high yields, can cope with salinity, drought and

they cannot afford to pay for it. A good example of this

any other problem, including climate change, facing

was seen in 2007 when food prices increased drama-

farming. The reality is that most of these traits are ficti-

tically due to market shortages. The increases were

onal at the moment and there are very few examples of

blamed on biofuels, poor seasons and not enough

GMOs solving these problems. GMOs are being sold to

land to grow crops. In 2008 food prices decreased in

government, industry and the public as the silver bullet

many countries, due to the global economic crisis, even

to all our problems. There is striking parallel with the

though the same factors were in play as in 2007. Yet

way that propaganda from the nuclear industry in the

the numbers of hungry people skyrocketed to almost 1

1950s and 1960s sold the fantasy that nuclear power

billion despite a decrease in prices. This was because

would provide endless cheap power. The idea that

hungry people did not have the money to buy food (see

world hunger can be solved by inventing new ‘super

figure 3).

crops’ shows a complete misunderstanding of the problem. The introduction of GMOs has increased world hunger because it entrenches an agribusiness system that is based on commodity production and marketing and weakens the position of those who produce most of the world’s food. The need is for a paradigm shift away from large scale commodity production to family scale and local food production. The largest review into our current agricultural systems by The International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) states that “the way the world grows its food will have to change radically to better serve the poor and hungry if the world is to cope with

A major reason for the high prices in 2007 was due to

growing population and climate change while avoiding

futures traders hoarding food and creating market shor-

social breakdown and environmental collapse” (IAASTD

tages and artificial high prices; treating food as a mass

2008) This report does not endorse the current push

commodity. This market speculation caused a huge

for GMOs and large agribusiness as the solution and

spike in global hunger from 850 million to a peak of

instead proposed working at a more sustainable local

1,023 billion in 2009. Over 170 million extra people suf-

level with lower inputs and family farms. (See figure 4)

fered due to the greed of the food commodity traders. In 2011, world agricultural commodity prices are on

The current reality is that smallholders currently pro-

the increase again, due to market speculation because

duce 70% of the world’s food (ETC Group, 2009). Yet at

production levels for 2010 are slightly lower than 2009.

the same time it is equally true that the majority of the

This is despite total food production being at a long

world’s hungry are smallholders or landless farm labou-

term all-time high.

rers. The most logical way to feed the world is for the

There will always be a need for international commodity

people who need it to grow it themselves. This means

markets for food and they will probably always play a

focusing on increasing production among smallholders,

key role in distributing food to a significant percentage of

rather than encouraging higher productivity by agri­

the world’s population. Yet, they are an ineffective model

business. (See figure 5)

in getting food to the poorest people. Agribusiness only

12

produces 30% the world’s food and the experience of

Organic agriculture has a proven track record of impro-

the last 40 years shows a clear failure of agribusiness a

ving yields as well as delivering a range of social and

way of feeding the hungry (ETC Group, 2009). At best

environmental benefits, particularly among small holders

it only contributed to a short term and modest decline,

in the developing world. The majority of the world’s far-

which has recently been completely erased.

mers are traditional farmers who are largely ‘organic by

3-2011 | ECOLOGY & FARMING


Politics Figure 4

default’. Significant increases in yields can be achieved by teaching these farmers to include good organic

Who the hungry are Source: A Viable Food Future

practices to their traditional methods such as: • better soil nutrition • improved pest and disease control • more efficient water use • better weed control methods • ecological intensification A recent report by two UN agencies found that ecological agriculture significantly increases yields in Africa. ‘…the average crop yield was … 116 per cent increase for all African projects…The evidence presented in this study supports the argument that ecological agriculture can be more conducive to food security in Africa than most conventional production systems, and that it is

Figure 5

dies which focused on food production in this research

Peasants feed at least 70% of the world’s population

where data have been reported have shown increases

Sources: A Viable Food Future and ETC Group

more likely to be sustainable in the long term’ (UNEP/ UNCTAD 2008). The report further states ‘All case stu-

in per hectare productivity of food crops, which challenges the popular myth that ecological agriculture cannot increase agricultural productivity.’ Most of the world’s farmers are smallholders who use traditional methods that are largely organic. Training farmers in techniques to improve their practices with good organic methods is a practical, low cost and proven way to increase their yields and income and reduce hunger and poverty. One of the most important aspects of this change is encouraging the production of food and fibre close to where it is needed and wherever possible by the people who need it. This implies curtailing the sovereignty of commodity markets. One key benefit of this change is that it a low cost

aspect of agricultural systems. This money would be

method. Farmers do not need to buy expensive impor-

more effectively utilized if it was spent on training the

ted fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides. The use of

world’s smallholders who already grow 70% of the

labour intensive activities, such as cultural weeding,

world’s food to adopt best-practice organic methods

composting and intercropping provides more local

and increase their production. In some places in Africa

employment. This allows landless labourers to pay for

100% increases in yields have been reported. More

their food and other needs. Such a model of organic

than enough to feed the hungry.

agriculture fosters rural development and is more effec-

Andre Leu is chairperson of OFA

tive at combating rural poverty and starvation, than GMOs and expensive inputs. Billions of dollars are being spent around the world to research and develop new GMO crops. The proponents of GMOs believe that feeding the hungry just involves new food varieties with better traits and show a lack of understanding of the problem and also of the human

References: A Viable Food Future, Part I, (2010) The Development Fund / Utviklingsfondet, Norway ETC Group, (2009) Who Will Feed Us? Questions for the Food and Climate Crises. (www.etcgroup.org/upload/publication/pdf_!le/ ETC_Who_Will_Feed_Us.pdf) FAO (2010) The State of Food Insecurity in the World, FAO, Rome. IAASTD (2008) International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD), Island Press. Washington DC UNEP / UNCTAD (2008) Organic Agriculture and Food Security in Africa, http://www.unep-unctad.org/cbtf/index.htm

ECOLOGY & FARMING | 3-2011

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Argentina is the second largest country in South America, after Brazil. It covers a total surface area of 2,766,891 km2 and has four major regions: the fertile central plains of the Pampas, the source of Argentina’s agricultural wealth; the flat rolling, southern plateau of Patagonia; the subtropical northern flats of the Gran Chaco and the rugged Andes mountain range along the western border with Chile. 4.4 million hectares certified organic land

COUNTRY FOCUS ARGENTINA A

griculture is one of the mainstays of Argentina’s

society sectors, were the starting point of the organic

economy. Agricultural goods, whether raw or pro-

sector in Argentina. Two certifiers started at the end of

cessed, earn over half of Argentina’s foreign exchange

the eighties, one of which, Argencert, still exists. There

and, arguably, remain an indispensable pillar of the

are currently five nationally accredited certifiers.

country’s progress and prosperity. In 2007, more than one fifth of Argentine exports consisted of unprocessed agricultural primary goods, mainly soybeans, wheat and maize. A further third consisted of processed agricultural products, such as animal feed, flour and vegetable oils. Around 10% of the country is cultivated, while about half of it is used to graze cattle, sheep and other livestock. The development of the organic sector in Argentina began with the foundation of CANECOS (Centre for the Study of Organic Crops) and a group of NGOs promoting rural development projects using the agro­ecological

In 1990, Argentinean delegates at the IFOAM World

approach. This occurred shortly after democracy was

Congress in Vienna were encouraged to strategically

re-established in the mid 1980s. Eleven Latin American

develop the country’s organic sector. Discussion on

NGOs came together to found CLADES (Consorcio

how to do this focused around key issues such as

Latinoamericano sobre Agroecologia y Desarrollo)

unsatisfied demand, certification and the country’s

dedicated to training and capacity building within Latin

competitive advantages within a constantly growing

America. Parallel to this, there were several initiatives

market.

from export-oriented farmers who started to export

In 1992, a legal framework for organic production

organic products to Europe and the United States.

began to be developed. SENASA, the National Service

These initiatives, which came from the private and civil

for Health and Agri-food Quality (part of the Secreta-

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3-2011 | ECOLOGY & FARMING


Country reports

By Patricia Flores Escudero

riat of Agriculture, Cattle Farming, Fishing and Food)

Currently, MAPO is prioritizing the development of orga-

developed guidelines for organic production, laid out in

nic production, by strengthening farmers’ groups and

Resolution 423/1992, which is based on IFOAM and EU

encouraging associative initiatives to facilitate group

Standards. The same year, Argentina applied for Third

certification, the exchange of technical information and

Country status to the EU, a process which was finally

market access. This work is being done in alliance with

and officially approved in 1996. In the 1990s, Argen-

INTA (National Institute of Agricultural Technology).

tinean exports significantly increased and the country

MAPO is also intensively working with organizations

hosted the IFOAM World Congress in Mar del Plata in

in both the public and private sectors to develop the

1998. It was an enthusiastic period when this new sec-

domestic market.

tor grew considerably. The competent authority for organic agriculture is The Argentinean Movement for Organic Production

SENASA which maintains a special unit for the Coordi-

(MAPO) was founded in 1995 and is now the biggest

nation of Ecological Products (Coordinación de Produc-

organic organization in the country. It has a diverse mem-

tos Ecológicos), responsible for the implementation of

bership, including NGOs, certification bodies, farmers’

policies and regulations related to organic agriculture.

organizations and entrepreneurs. MAPO actively parti-

They are in charge of developing and updating regu-

cipated in the development of the National Standards

lations related to the production, processing, packing,

for Organic Production (Res. SAGPY Nr. 423/92 and

labelling, commercialization and certification of organic

1286/93) and the National Programme for Organic Pro-

products. It is regarded as the best-equipped compe-

duction (PRONAO, 1996) and was also an advisory body

tent authority, in terms of human and financial resour-

for the development of the National Law for Organic

ces, in Latin America outside of Brazil. This gives it, and

Production (Law 25.127, 1999). It also played a lead role

its high qualified technical staff, a leadership role in the

in organizing the 1998 IFOAM World Congress.

region (see Table 1).

Table 1

The main regulations relating to organic production in Argentina Source: SENASA (2011)

Resolution SAGYP 423/1992

Regulating the production and processing of organic food

Resolution SENASA 286/1993

Regulating organic livestock

Resolution IASCAV 42/1994

 ermits organic farmers organizations to use group certificaP tion for the domestic market

1999: Law 25.127

Law on ‘Organic, biological and organic production’

Decree No. 97/200 1

Regulation of Law Nº 25.127

Decree No. 206/2001

 reation of PRONAO and the regulation of a national system C for the production, commercialization, control and certification of organic products

2007: Law No. 26.295

Law for a ‘National Day to promote Organic Production’

ECOLOGY & FARMING | 3-2011

15


Hectares

80000 Figure 2

70000

The state of organic production in Argentina in 2010

60000 50000 40000 30000 20000

Source: SENASA (2011)

10000 0

2010 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009

Every year, SENASA publishes an annual report con-

The Argentine organic domestic market is mainly for

taining information and data about the organic sector,

fresh products, such as fruit and vegetables, and is

based on the information delivered by accredited cer-

relatively small compared with the size of the organic

tification bodies. The 2010 Report (published in March

export market. There are several initiatives to develop

2011), provides the most recent update on organic pro-

organic domestic markets that are being organized by

gress and trends.

farmers’ groups, NGOs and consumers. MAPO has promoted occasional fairs in the Province of

The success of the organic sector in Argentina has inspired developments in many other countries in the region

Buenos Aires. In May 2011, the first national organic fair was organized in Lujan, in the Province of Buenos Aires. There are also farmers’ markets in Mendoza and many delivery schemes across the country, which are based on trust, rather than third party certification. A pioneer organization for delivery schemes, organic shops and most recently the county’s first organic restaurant-bar, is El Rincon Organico in the city of Buenos Aires. El Rincón Orgánico has recently opened a new window in the market, organizing food stalls at rock concerts Most of Argentina’s organic products are exported to

and festivals (including recent concerts by Shakira, Ian

the EU (54%: mainly to the Netherlands, the UK and

Anderson and Ziggy Marley) providing organic food and

Germany) and the USA (26%). Other main market des-

beverages to the concert-going public and a backstage

tinations include Russia, Canada, Ecuador, Norway and

organic catering service for the artists and their staff.

Brazil. Demand from the USA doubled in comparison to

This is an innovative strategy in advocacy work and

2009, with organic cereals and oilseeds being the major

raising public awareness.

items.

16

The most important organic product groups are fruits,

Argentinean supermarkets carry some organic products

vegetables, processed products, and oilseeds. Within

such as the popular ‘yerba mate’, a dried herb used

these categories the most important items are organic

to make a traditional drink, alongside marmalades,

pears, apples, sugarcane and soybeans. The economic

olive oil and wines. However, in general the domestic

crisis that affected the main destination markets affec-

market is poorly developed and needs much support

ted organic exports during the first quarter of 2010.

to grow. To this end a national governmental project

In the second quarter organic exports saw a further

called PRODAO is currently being implemented. Its

upward trend. In 2010, the volume of organic animal

objective is to increase and consolidate the scale of the

products exported increased significantly, mostly honey

organic agriculture sector. By increasing the area and

and wool. Exports of fruits, vegetable and legumes

volume of organic production it is intended that more

diminished slightly, but cereals and oilseed exports

organic products will become available on the domestic

increased.

market and the skills base of the sector and its profile

3-2011 | ECOLOGY & FARMING


Country reports

By Patricia Flores Escudero

will increase. The project is jointly implemented by the

Since 1995, there has been a clear increase in the

National Office of Agroindustry and the Advisory Com-

amount of organic cultivated land in Argentina, from

mission for Organic Production.

12,000 hectares (195) to almost 70,000 hectares in 2010. Organic grazing land has also increased signifi-

The total organic cultivated area in 2010 was 69,337

cantly from 100,000 hectares in 1995, to 3.7 million in

hectares, marking a recovery on the decline in 2009.

2010. (See Figure 2)

The certified organic area for animal grazing (pastures) was 3.7 million hectares. 86% of this land was used for

Argentina is one of Latin America’s leading organic

sheep production in Patagonia while the rest (14%) is

producers. Its organic sector has achieved significant

used for cattle rearing. Argentina remains the second

exports and is well regulated regulation, with a strong

largest country –after Australia- in terms of total certi-

organizational basis support from the authorities that

fied organic agricultural land with 4.4 millions of hecta-

has steadily developed since the early ‘90s. The organic

res of organic land, mostly pastures.

domestic market development still needs to be deve-

The province of Misiones has the largest share of orga-

loped and multi-stakeholder and multi-level strategies

nic producers (26% of the country’s total) mainly due

need to be prioritized and implemented in order to achieve this. Some efforts in this direction have already

Fruit growing is a major sector in this temperate climate

been launched. The Argentinean organic movement plays a key role as an advisory body in these efforts, especially in alliance with governmental programmes and projects linked to initiatives to support family agriculture. The country is seen as a pioneer at the Latin American level, as the stories of success of the organic sector in Argentina have inspired developments in many other countries in the region. Argentina is seeking to encourage more smallholders into the organic sector and to develop its own domestic markets, offering new opportunities and ways of adapting to the very diverse

to a high number of smallholders who are organized in

regional context.

cooperatives. Mendoza also has a high share, with 12% of producers occupying plots that average 136 ha. The Patagonian provinces of Chubut, Santa Cruz and Tierra del Fuego have the most land surface dedicated to organic livestock (75%) although they account for only 5% of the organic producers in the country. Santa Cruz has 72,000 hectares of organic land, Tierra del Fuego more than 46,000 hectares and Chubut more than 23,000 hectares.

Technical Notes Agroecology is a widely used term in Latin America and the Caribbean Region. It seeks to use is ecological principles to develop sustainable agricultural systems within site specific conditions. Different definitions of the term can be distinguished due to the specificity with which the term ‘ecology’ is used, and its potential political connotations. There are now five national accredited certification bodies operating in Argentina: Argencert S.R.L., OIA S.A, Letis S.A. , Food Safety S.A. and Vihuela S.R.L.

ECOLOGY & FARMING | 3-2011

17


Jamie Oliver about the quality of food:

“Food should be fun”

18

3-2011 | ECOLOGY & FARMING


interview

By Bernward Geier

A healthy diet is important and eating habits are learned at a young age. Jamie Oliver thinks that politicians have a responsibility here. He has used his reputation as a world famous chef to become a champion for healthy nutrition, especially among children. ‘Organic’ plays a decisive role for him. Bernward Geier, former director of IFOAM, interviewed Jamie Oliver when he was in Germany, receiving the German sustainability award. You have received many awards and now this one.

is healthy in the daily diet. When we can get this balan-

What does it mean to you?

ce right then we are on the right track in this aspect of

A tribute from abroad is something special. This award

our children’s education.

acknowledges that my social and political commitment

does make a contribution to sustainability, I find it

How can you achieve this balance?

great. Germany is exemplary when it comes to sustai-

The top priority is that food must be fun. It is also

nability issues. I have been involved in doing things in

important that children learn the range of options on

Germany for more than eight years and am glad that

offer and then to make the right choices. I always let

here, as in England, young people are enthusiastic

my children choose between an apple and a pear or

supporters of my ideas about cooking.

a carrot and celery. Such small steps about diet mean children feel included. It is also important that we guide

Speaking about young people, it is known that the

children, for example telling them when ‘enough is

development of taste stops quite early in childhood.

enough’ and that it can be better than ‘more’.

Many of our readers have children. Do you have tips

for them on how to inspire their children to take to

What importance does organic food have for you?

healthy food?

Organic is not only a very important issue, but is the

The desire for sweets or hamburgers is not in the DNA

challenge of our times. It is only a few decades since

of children. The desire for bad food is created – by

our, originally very healthy, food has been contaminated

mass advertising, particularly around TV shows for children. It’s important to keep children from this brainwashing as much as possible. If you have children, you can engage by, for instance, ensuring that no junk food is sold in their school. Parents can be very effective in calling for good food to be served in schools.

“Politicians only have a short term focus and this is a problem”

Your commitment to healthy school food is known worldwide. How does that work with your

and diluted by chemical fertilizers and pesticides. It

four ­children?

has now lost much of its quality and is either partly, or

Candies and other temptations are not taboo for us.

really, unhealthy. Buying organic food is the best thing

Snacking is part of life. Don’t we all like that every now

you can do for your children. I want to see a day when

and then? It is crucial to find the balance between

organic food becomes the norm and escapes from its

what is not very harmful, but in moderation, and what

niche. I totally reject mass production, especially in

ECOLOGY & FARMING | 3-2011

19


policies. Bringing about a profound change needs a time horizon of a decade or more. Politicians just don’t work on such long-term timescales. Should there be a policy to put nutrition on the school curriculum? Please no nutrition lessons! That is too one-sided and scientific. Knowledge about nutrition should be integraanimal husbandry. Factory farming does not offer any-

ted in the wider context of a sustainable lifestyle. What

thing in terms of quality. It is also important to support

we need is a subject of ‘life skills’.

local organic producers.

And what will be taught in the ‘life skills’ class?

Don’t high prices stand in the way of ‘organic for all’?

My dream is that those who leave school will know the

That can’t be said across the board. The price differen-

basics of a healthy diet, where foods come from, what

ce is not so great for many products. Even people with

they look like unprocessed and how to select for qua-

a lower income can afford organic milk or yoghurt at

lity. Time-efficient cooking in a well organized kitchen

present price levels. Food must be simply more worth

should also be taught. Ten basic recipes will do. When

to us. And you can grow fresh, healthy food yourself.

kids have learned these, then the art of variation will

A small corner of land is usually easy to find. You can

kick in and they will find a lifetime of fun in cooking. A

even grow herbs and a few tomatoes on a balcony. In

life skills course should also teach about how to deal

England, it is now becoming popular again to produce

with money and banks. Schools should be preparing

food yourselves. We are experiencing a genuine renais-

their pupils to live sustainable, conscious and self-

sance of gardening.

determined lives.

Buying organic food is the best thing you can do for our children. Organic should be the norm and escape from its niche.

Does organic always mean best quality?

Jamie Oliver grew up his parents pub and spent eight

Unfortunately no. There are some organic products

years there learning how to cook. He later went to

that do not meet demands for freshness or quality.

cookery school and worked in several prestigious res-

‘Organic’ alone is no guarantee of good quality. Best

taurants. In 2002 he opened the restaurant ‘Fifteen’ in

quality also includes freshness, seasonality and regio-

London, which now has branches in Amsterdam and

nality.

Melbourne. These restaurants give unemployed young

people the chance to learn a trade. Jamie achieved

Unhealthy nutrition is also promoted by bad policies

fame with the series ‘The Naked Chef’ and his cookery

and laws. What is the influence of politics when it

books are bestsellers worldwide. Jamie lives with his

comes to healthy eating?

wife and four children in England.

There need to be more focus on long-term and sustainable programmes. A basic problem is that politicians often rely on very short term thinking when making

20

3-2011 | ECOLOGY & FARMING

The latest book ‘Jamie’s 30 minutes meals’ is published by Dorling Kindersley. His web site is www.jamieoliver.com. Courtesy ‘Schot & Korn’


Your Partner In Organic Potatoes, Vegetables and Fruits Im- & export of fresh and industrial organic potatoes, vegetables and fruits. Custom designed and reliable services for sourcing and marketing your organic products.

The Netherlands


Soil

Composting helps reclaim deserts and reduce CO2 emissions

Soil & More have been developing large and small scale composting systems that simultaneously improve soil structure, water retention capacity, yields and incomes. These have also been proven to act as a carbon sink and counteract increases in CO2 levels. Tobias Bandel writes about the company’s achievements and aspirations.

and More

By Tobias Bandel

A

ccording to the latest FAO figures there was 2137

Agricultural biomass is transformed into high quality compost

m2 of arable land available to each person on the

planet, less than half the amount available in 1961, when the figure was 4307 m2 per person. This of course is largely caused by the rapid growth of the world’s population from 2 to almost 7 billion people over the last 50 years. But it is also due to effects of unsustainable agricultural practices such as over-fertilization, intensive monocultures etc. Every year such practices lead to the loss of about 12 million hectares of fertile top soil, which only accelerates the decrease in land

countries this figure is even higher, at around 80% -even

availability.

though these countries face huge shortages of potable water.

Synthetic fertilizers contribute almost 8% to world greenhouse gas emissions, through their nitrous

Irresponsible agricultural practices

oxide emissions. At the same time emissions from the

Climate change, food and water security, biodiversity,

world’s agricultural sectors contribute 30% of global

animal welfare, jobs, education and communities: all

greenhouse gas emissions - taking into consideration

these issues are directly or indirectly linked to agriculture.

the CO2 released through the deforestation needed to

Irresponsible agricultural practices present a threat to our

compensate for the loss of arable land due to erosion

natural and socio-economic environments. Yet adapted

caused by unsustainable farming. Worldwide, the agri-

and sustainable farming methods have the capacity to

cultural sector consumes more than 70% of the avai-

tackle these issues, not only maintaining, but also deve-

lable fresh water supply. In developing and emerging

loping our planet’s most vulnerable resources.

22

3-2011 1-2011 | ECOLOGY & FARMING


Innovation in agriculture

Land reclamation in Egypt the first harvest after 14 months

In recent years many large players in the global chain

Large scale compost production

(such as Walmart, NestlĂŠ, Unilever, Starbucks, Tesco,

Soil & More International BV collects agricultural bio-

Carrefour and Rewe) have increasingly become aware

mass and transforms it into high quality compost.

that more and more consumers care about

The company, established in early 2007,

the environmental and the social footprint of

already has subsidiaries in Egypt, Ethiopia,

the products they consume. Many leading

India, Mexico, the Netherlands and South

business consultancy firms (such as McKin-

Africa. Its activities not only minimize the

sey, Boston Consulting Group and Ernst &

green waste going to landfill, but also, by

Young) are warning these companies that business as usual is no longer an option: that

establishing soil management regimes with a higher organic matter content, improve

conventional agricultural practices are already contri-

soil fertility and water holding capacity and reduce

buting to severe soil and water scarcities and present a

greenhouse gas emissions.

risk to resource and commodity security. The message

The composting technique is based on a method of

is clear to maintain agricultural business, there is no

controlled microbial composting devised by Dr. Ehren-

option other than to implement more sustainable agri-

fried Pfeiffers. This method which involves using a

cultural practices or else the entire business and supply

unique compost inoculant in an aerated, controlled

chain is at risk.

microbial compost process, enables a range of organic

ECOLOGY & FARMING | 3-2011

23


inputs (mainly farmyard wastes such as greens, wood

strategy is now not only a model for producing and sel-

and manure) to be decomposed and transformed into

ling high quality compost but also provides a technology

a stable humus complex within 6 – 8 weeks. This high

that qualifies as a emission reduction methodology

quality compost product provides plants with all the

under the regulations of the Kyoto protocol. This genera-

nutrients and micro-elements they require. The unique

tes an additional income stream for the project partners,

structure of the humus increases the water-holding

as the reduction in CO2 emissions can be sold as carbon

capacity of the soils by up to 70%, an important con-

credits to offset the emissions of other companies.

sideration for growers in arid and semi-arid areas. The

To date composting facilities have been established in

final compost also contains millions of micro-orga-

Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Mexico and South Africa, where

nisms, introduced in small numbers by the inoculant.

they produce and sell high quality compost to small,

These provide a tightly knit soil-food-web that creates

medium and large-scale farms. Working with local part-

a natural immune system for the plant and acts as a

ners the company is producing over 200,000 tons of

natural defence against most known soil-born diseases

compost per year and reducing almost 180,000 tons of

and other pathogens. This disease suppression is one

CO2. The income from the carbon credit sales subsidi-

of the outstanding unique selling points of the compost.

zes making the compost, reducing the price of compost to below that of synthetic

Various studies have proved that

fertilizers and making land-

soils, enriched with the compost

reclamation projects feasible.

not only have the capacity to

Recently over 2000 hectares of

reduce C02 emissions but to

desert land along the Nile val-

act as a carbon sink. The com-

ley in Egypt have been reclai-

posting technology has been

med using compost.

submitted for approval as an emission reduction methodology

Small scale composting

to the relevant United Nations

Sustainable soil management

authorities. A demonstration project was established at

is becoming the key factor for long term competitive

Sekem Farm in Egypt to take the product through the

farming strategies. In co-operation with small-scale

entire cycle of assessment, third party validation and

tea co-operatives in India and Kenya, Soil & More has

verification required for emission reduction projects. At

implemented micro-scale, static composting solutions

the end of this assessment Soil & More’s composting

using biomass available on-site biomass, such as pru-

technology was approved by TĂœV-Nord Germany as a

ning material from the tea bushes and cow manure.

greenhouse gas emission reduction project according to

These co-operatives had experienced a decline in yields

the guidelines of the UNFCCC (for methane avoidance).

of up to 40% over the last five years due to increasin-

That means that this innovative biomass management

gly irregular rainfall and soil erosion. By bringing back

24

3-2011 | ECOLOGY & FARMING


Innovation in agriculture

Training small-scale farmers on using cow manure and pruning materials for composting to improve organic matter content in the soil

organic matter to the soils through on-site composting,

number of leading research institutes, including the

yields went up by 30% within 2 years.

Louis Bolk Institute, FiBL, the Heliopolis Academy and

Healthy and vital soils promote healthy plants, more

other experts in soil science, composting, emission

stable and higher yields, secure incomes, more food

reductions and footprinting.

production, considerably reduce the amount of water

In one of these studies, carried out with the Louis Bolk

needed for irrigation and produces healthy food for

Institute and Sekem Farm, experts looked at carbon

healthy people.

sequestration and storage in organically managed soils on reclaimed desert farms in Egypt. Continuous

Assessing and communicating sustainable development

compost applications over a period of thirty years have

Since early 2008, Soil & More has also been developing

increased the carbon stocks in these soils by more

carbon and water footprinting services to agricultural

than 26 tons of carbon per hectare (using the original

organizations, producers, processors, traders and retail-

plain desert at neighbouring sites as a control). In

ers around the world: the customer base includes Alna-

line with similar studies it was found that a significant

turA, Dole, Dovex, EOSTA, Fairtrade, IFOAM, Lebens-

increase in carbon stocks occurred during the first 5

baum, Marks&Spencer, Ritter Sport, Sekem, Unilever

years. This small-scale research project supports the

and Weleda, to mention just a few. As with the carbon

assumptions made by most of the leading climate

credits obtained from organic composting, the carbon

change institutions that improved soil management

footprints are certifiable.

can make a major contribution to offsetting climate

So far carbon and water footprint assessment has been

change. This pilot trial is currently being scaled up to

carried out for a number of supply-chains that source

more farms and to incorporate analysis of changes in

produce from all over the world to use in a wide variety

water retention capacity. These experiments will com-

of products. These two activities are linked: more and

pare both these factors on organically managed and

more large-scale conventional farming businesses are

conventionally managed soils.

deciding to gradually replace their synthetic fertilizer

With its worldwide partners in the organic agricultural

applications with compost, so as to lower the carbon

movement, Soil & More will continue to implement

footprint of their products. High quality compost is pro-

these concepts and to promote and communicate

ving to be the most competitive substitute for chemical

the role of healthy soils in contributing to sustainable

fertilizers, particularly at a time of high oil prices and

soil fertility and food security, the mitigation of climate

when such products are showing diminishing returns

change and the reduction of water usage in agriculture.

because of overuse.

The related social-economic benefits are clear.

Research and development activities To improve and further develop these innovative pro-

Tobias Bandel has an extensive background in organic agriculture and marketing. He was a co-founder of Soil & More International BV and is now the managing partner. tobias.bandel@soilandmore.co

ducts and services, Soil & More works closely with a

www.soilandmore.com

ECOLOGY & FARMING | 3-2011

25


By Joost Pierrot, Daniele Giovannucci, Alexander Kasterine

At current growth rates

Trends in the trade of sustainable coffees

Figure 1:

Worldwide imports of certified organic coffee (60 kg bags) 2001

2003

Europe

187 000

220 000

N. America

171 000

2005

2006

2007

316 700

511 700

612 000

Others Japan Total

26

389 000

3-2011 | ECOLOGY & FARMING

700 000

2008

2009

725 000

754 000

672 800

703 080

154 400

160 575

51 600

62 000

67 000

72 500

75 400

867 000

1 117 000

1 492 000

1 625 700

1 693 055


Market & Economy

Coffee is the world’s most valuable traded agricultural commodity. It is exported by 60 countries and grown predominantly by smallholder farmers, many of them women. In the organic sector, coffee is the most important internationally traded product in terms of both quantity and value. At the moment price levels are very high, especially for arabicas (both conventional and organic).

C

offee always has been a trendsetting

import rates were slightly higher than in

commodity: it was the first tropical

2009. Trade in organic (and other cer-

product that was certified as organic and

tified) coffees is historically affected by

as Fairtrade. And it is probably the pro-

high price levels and the market can be

duct with the most different standards,

extremely volatile. There is also growing

certifications and labels.

domestic consumption of organic coffee

This article gives an overview of the quan-

in producing countries, such as Brazil and

tities of coffee traded under the main five

other emerging markets.

sustainability labels: Organic, Fairtrade, Utz Certified, Rainforest Alliance and the

The main exporter of organic coffee is

Common Code for the Coffee Community

Peru, where about 15% of all cultivated

(4C). In addition to these standards there

coffee is certified organic. Peru supplies

are also own-brand schemes, of which

more than 20% of all organic coffees

Starbucks and Nespresso are the most

worldwide. In Latin America it is followed

important.

by Mexico and Honduras. Indonesia leads in Asia and Ethiopia is Africa’s main sour-

Certified coffee is moving rapidly from

ce. Organic is the most important certifi-

a niche to the mainstream. It is a fast

cation for African coffee producers, who

growing segment of the market and

supply nearly 10% of the global market.

major corporations and NGOs are both very interested in it. At current growth

It is worthwhile mentioning two sub-cate-

rates, certified coffees would grow from

gories in the organic coffee segment: Bird

an 8% market penetration level in 2009

Friendly and Demeter certified coffee.

to 20-25% of the global coffee trade by

These were among the earliest certifiers

2015.

and are certainly among the most stringent in their requirements, one of which

Organic Coffee

is to be fully organic. In 2008 about 1,800

It is difficult to obtain exact figures, but

bags of Bird Friendly, sometimes also

we estimate that in 2010 organic coffee

called shade-grown, coffee were exported

ECOLOGY & FARMING | 3-2011

27


consumer concerns about the environment and the socio economic conditions in the coffee value chain, Ahold, one of the leading retailing multinationals, started Utz Certified in 2003. Other corporations, such as Kraft and Nestlé followed suit, and started marketing coffee under another sustainability scheme, Rainforest Alliance. The industry has also developed its own verification scheme for social and environmental criteria, called the Common Code for the Coffee Community (4C). Prospects Figure 2 compares total worldwide imports of certified coffees between 2006

1,8

and 2009. It is likely that in 2010 Utz and

1,6

Rainforest will have overtaken organic as

1,4

the world’s leading sustainability certifica-

1,2

tion for coffee (in volume). However, orga-

1

nic remains the strictest system in terms

0,8

of farming system requirements. The

0,6

environmental and social benefits created

0,4

by these schemes vary considerably and

0,2

further research is required on the impact

0

Organic

Flo 2006

Utz Certified

2007

2008

Rainforest Alliance

4C

of these different standards on different environmental and social criteria.

2009

Figure 2:

Worldwide sales of certified or verified coffee by seal (million 60 kg bags)

Some coffees bear two, or even more certifications. For instance, half of FLO coffees are also certified organic. Therefore, the total quantity of certified coffee is less than the sum of the separate five

worldwide. The 2009 worldwide exports

fee, the USA, did not grow in 2010 due

categories) The ’60 kg bag’ (of green

of Demeter, or bio-dynamic, coffee are

to unsold stock remaining from 2009.

beans) is a widely used measure in coffee

estimated at approximately 5,000 bags.

Other markets are more mixed so there

trading.

was some modest growth from 2010. Fairtrade Coffee

Fairtrade’s other (non-coffee) sales have

Coffees certified as Fairtrade are the

expanded considerably.

only coffees for which exporters are guaranteed a minimum price (the price

Other forms of certification

to exporters was recently increased to

Mainstream companies have sensed the

140 US$ cents/lb for washed Arabica)

opportunity presented by coffee certified

when sold. These coffees are produced

as sustainable but, in some cases, have

exclusively by organized smallholder

been reluctant to buy at higher price

farmers. The Fairtrade organic premium

levels and meet the stringent organic and

was increased recently from 20 to 30 US

Fairtrade requirements. They have been

cents. The main market for Fairtrade cof-

looking to find ‘easier’ ways to address

28

3-2011 | ECOLOGY & FARMING

-Joost Pierrot has been a marketing consultant for the organic industry since 1999 and has worked at Simon Levelt BV in the Netherlands, Europe’s first importer of organic coffee and a co-founder of ‘Max Havelaar’, the precursor of Fairtrade certification. -Daniele Giovannucci is the Executive Director of the Committee on Sustainability Assessment (COSA), a global consortium of institutions and UN agencies developing innovative ways to measure sustainability. -Alexander Kasterine is a Senior Adviser on Trade, Environment and Climate Change at the International Trade Centre based in Geneva, Switzerland. Pictures: courtesy of Simon Levelt B.V. and Olaf Hammelburg.


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International conference By Lucy van de Vijver & Machteld Huber

The first international conference on organic food quality and health research I

t was the largest gathering of its kind to

FQH, Technology Platform Organics (TPO)

FAO’s view on a sustainable diet. FAO’s

date, with people attending from 30 dif-

and the Institute of Chemical Technology

focus is undergoing quite a drastic

ferent countries including the US, the Bal-

(ICT) in Prague highlighted the growing

change and now recognizes the impor-

tic States, Africa and New Zealand. Thirty

maturity of research into organic food

tance of biodiversity in ensuring long

seven oral presentations and 75 poster

quality and health. Since the founding of

term food security. A shift in focus is

presentations addressed issues of orga-

FQH in 2003, the association has provided

occurring away from intensive agri-

nic food quality, how it can be measured,

a forum for scientists, stimulating discus-

culture and towards sustainable food

what influences quality and whether the

sion, collaborations and improving the

production. “Wild species increase food

quality of organic food does really contri-

quality of scientific research. This is now

security and form a source of important

bute to the health of consumers - animal

developing into a coherent joint research

nutrients. A reduction of indigenous food

or human.

agenda, particularly because of TPO’s role

species in people’s diets reduces their

in formulating a vision, strategic research

health status and increases the preva-

Organic food research

agenda and implementation plan for orga-

lence of obesity”, Burlingame said. The

Johannes Kahl, chair of the Organic Food

nic agricultural and food research that is

loss of varieties has a dramatic effect

Quality and Health Association (FQH), an

being presented to the EU.

on nutritional status: (in Bangladesh the

association of research institutes, was

number of varieties of rice has declined

pleasantly surprised by the interest in the

The first presentations discussed organic

from 5000 to just 23). Urs Niggli (FiBL)

conference and the high quality of the

agriculture’s role in providing ecosystem

continued the discussion by summari-

abstracts (200 in total) submitted. The

services, setting the context of ‘farm to

zing the ecosystem services of organic

welcoming speeches of the organisers,

fork’. Barbara Burlingame set out the

agriculture. The pursuit of food security

30

3-2011 | ECOLOGY & FARMING


events

In mid May the first international conference on organic food quality and health research took place in Prague, the Czech Republic. It was a unique event where over 160 scientists and others gathered to discuss the latest research on organic food quality and health. through conventional means has led to

of constituents with an evolutionary back-

problems in ecosystem services, including

ground. Its effect on health is synergetic

increased soil erosion and a loss of bio-

and extraordinarily complex”. Because

diversity. Organic agriculture may provide

of this complexity the randomized inter-

an answer to these problems. According

vention study (seen as the most objective

to Niggli, if half the world’s soils were cul-

and optimal design study) is unlikely to be

tivated organically this would “postpone

successful when studying food, because

the heating of the world by 2-3 years, so it

it is practically not possible to ‘blind’

is not a solution to the problem. The main

food, to find a good ‘placebo-diet’ and to

advantage is that the soil will be more

maintain a given diet for long enough to

resistant and the resilience of the whole

do a long term study. In practice therefore

system will be improved, so the conse-

observational studies, which track people

quences will be less dramatic”.

for years, are the best way to study the effects of diets. Statistical techniques

Potential health effects

can be used to adjust for other lifestyle

David Jacobs (University of Minnesota)

factors. (KOALA, a Dutch cohort study, is

discussed how to assess the potential

one such example).

health effects of organic food. He emphasized that we should keep in mind that we

On the second day several aspects of

eat food, not nutrients. “Food is a mixture

organic food quality were discussed.

ECOLOGY & FARMING | 3-2011

31


There was a discussion about the diffe-

leading to a loss of carotenoids, taste

Fingerprinting results from the Org-

rences in nutritional quality and safety of

and structure. Sterilization played a less

Trace study done in Denmark. This

organic food compared to conventional

important role in the final quality.

can show the difference in levels of

foods and about the influence of proces-

anthocyanides, minerals, different

sing. Gillian Butler (Newcastle University)

Methodology

isotopes of N and other components.

reported on the beneficial effect of out-

An important theme of this conference

It was stressed that because of the

door grazing on levels of the unsaturated

was looking at the tools and methods

complexity of plants multi-element

fatty acid CLA (which also vary with coun-

available to assess quality. Several pre-

fingerprinting should always be per-

sentations were devoted to this subject.

formed (Søren Husted, University of

The results showed a remarkable mixture

Copenhagen).

of sophisticated modern techniques and more classical methods that are both

During the conference, 4 workshops

now used within organic research. Some

were organized covering the following

analytical techniques are not only used to

themes: organic food quality concepts;

measure quality but are also used to diffe-

quality changes for organic food pro-

rentiate between organic and non-organic

duction chains in Africa, Asia and Latin

products in order to prevent fraud. The

America; consumer-related aspects of

techniques discussed included:

quality and; dairy products – quality

the biocrystallization method (Nicolaas

and health issues.

Busscher, Univerity of Kassel); Johannes Kahl

a fluorescence based sensor, Naturalys,

The consumer related aspects discus-

to assess the difference between fresh,

sed trust (Virgilijus Skulskis, Lithuanian

try and seasonal differences). Giovanni

Institute of Agrarian Economics), taste

Dinelli (University of Bologna) discussed

(Tim Obermowe, University of Göt-

the use of traditional wheat varieties wit-

tingen) and perceived health benefits

hin organic agriculture as a way to impro-

(Lucy van de Vijver, Louis Bolk Insti-

ve the nutraceutical content of the diet.

tute), all important aspects of orga-

Alongside the benefits, potential risks

nic consumption. A lively discussion

were also discussed. Anette Jensen

emerged on how to increase consumer

(Technical University of Denmark) presen-

trust which, in Lithuania, is an important

ted the results of experiments in which

aspect in getting people to buy organic.

slurry contaminated with E-Coli was used.

The study of perceived health benefits

While E-coli were detected in the crop

showed the positive health experiences

and in the soil, further analyses indicated that the fecal contamination of the crops

consumers had with organic food and Machteld Huber

was not primarily due to the slurry but

raised a discussion about the value of this type of study.

originated from alternative sources, such

pasteurized and stored products (Inez

as contaminated water and wildlife. The

Birlouez, Biocitech);

The workshop on dairy products paid

impact of processing on product quality

Ambient mass spectrometry, realized

special attention to the use of raw milk.

was discussed by Ursula Kretzschmar

by DART (Direct Analyses in Real Time)

The benefits of raw milk for consumers’

(FiBL). She pointed out that sensory

for differentiating between organic and

health were discussed by Charlotte

quality is a key-issue within the proces-

conventional apples, potato tubers and

Braun-Fahrländer (University of Basel)

sing chain and that processors do not

tomatoes (Jana Hajslova, ICT, Prague);

who presented results from the Par-

always accord health the same priority

Profiling techniques to differentiate bet-

sifal and Gabriela study, showing that

that consumers do. Kathrin Seidell (FiBL)

ween organic and conventional eggs,

raw milk is associated with decreased

presented the results of the Core-QACCP

which use carotenoid levels as the main

risks of asthma and allergies. Gerhard

study, which investigated the influence

indicator. Here the differences may be

Jahreis (University of Jena) associated

of processing on the quality of baby

due to the feed used or to differences in

raw milk with preventing inflammatory

food. It showed that the use of frozen as

the hens, as organic systems often use

and cardiovascular diseases. Ton Baars

opposed to fresh or stored carrots had a

different strains of chicken (Saskia van

(University of Kassel) presented the

major impact on the quality of baby food,

Ruth, RIKILT);

results of a study in children with an

32

3-2011 | ECOLOGY & FARMING


events

suspected allergy to milk, who reacted

sensitivity to allergens was lower in the

adversely to conventional milk, but were

organic group. Organic eating, however, is

able to tolerate raw (biodynamic) milk.

very closely related to the anthroposophic

Alongside these benefits there are also

lifestyle, which makes it difficult to draw a

risks associated with raw milk: it can

clear conclusion.

contain harmful bacteria such as EHEC E-coli bacteria, listeria and campylobac-

The final session discussed the problems

ter. Wolfgang Kneifel (University of Natural

encountered when doing research into

Resources and Life Science, Vienna)

organic food and health. While health

argued the case for developing new

should not be defined solely in terms of

processing techniques that maintain the

the presence, or absence, of illness, we

benefits of raw milk while reducing the

do lack a clear definition of health which

potential for these bacteria occurring.

can be applied in practice and which offers an overall and integrative physiolo-

Barbara Burlingame

On the last day the question of health was

gical explanation for the variety of effects

discussed. Intervention studies performed

observed in an organism. Fred Wiegant

in rats (Charlotte Lauridsen, Aarhus Uni-

(Utrecht University) discussed the terms

versity), mice (Elena Mengheri, Instituto

homeostasis and allostasis in this con-

Nazionale di Ricerca per gli Alimenti e la

text. These include the ability to adapt,

Nutrizione, Rome) and an observational

and the resilience and robustness of an

study in pigs (Albert Sundrum, University

individual. Machteld Huber (Louis Bolk

of Kassel) did not reveal any unequivo-

Institute) discussed the potential for ope-

cal beneficial effects of an organic diet.

rationalizing these concepts in research on

The health effects on humans are often

organic food and health. She discussed

derived from the higher levels of specific

the results of her study “Is organic more

nutrients, e.g. the higher levels of CLA

healthy?” which showed clear differences

fatty acids in milk are associated with a

between organically and conventionally

decreased risk in cardiovascular disease

fed chickens, although this did not allow

and eczema (Chris Seal, Newcastle

any conclusions to be drawn about which

University). The results of a few studies

animals were more healthy. There is scope

among humans were discussed; including

for further developing this line of work.

one on the absorption of minerals (Susanne Bügel, University of Copenhagen) and

While the conference did not have any

on protection against DNA damage (Karlis

sensational or surprising results, the over-

Briviba, Max-Rubner Institute). Neither

all feeling was positive. It brought together

of these showed any major differences

a large group of researchers from all over

between organic and conventional diets.

the world. During the breaks they met,

The only study that directly looked at the

made contacts with each other and discussed existing projects and future oppor-

A reduction of indigenous food species in people’s diets reduces their health status and increases the prevalence of obesity. health effects of a diet was the Swedish

tunities. The conference created not only new contacts but also new inspiration to those who attended. Lucy van de Vijver, Machteld Huber Louis Bolk Institute, the Netherlands More information on the presentations can be found in the book of abstracts, which can be downloaded from the following link http://www. fqh2011.org/book-abstracts.html or from FQH’s website http://www.organicfqhresearch.org/.

ALADDIN study, carried out among anthroposophic families. The results showed that at the age of 6 months the prevalence of

ECOLOGY & FARMING | 3-2011

33


By Markus Arbenz

Standards For Organic Aquaculture

A BRIEF HISTORY OF ORGANIC AQUACULTURE Markus Arbenz looks at the history of the development of organic standards for aquaculture and the philosophical, practical and legal challenges that had to be overcome. Today there is a wide range of organic aquaculture standards, set by both private certifiers and national legislation. Such arrangements are required to accommodate the wide range of conditions under which aquaculture is practised (closed pond systems, river deltas and coastal waters etc.). But harmonization and equivalence remain a challenge.

O

rganic aquaculture grew out of the

ting standards that helped establish the

organic agricultural movement,

first organic salmon project in Ireland in

when organic farmers and associations in

1995. These standards were based on

Austria and Germany first started to deve-

IFOAM’s organic farming principles and

lop organic carp production systems in

the EU Regulation for Organic Agricul-

the early nineties. Since that time demand

ture (2092/91/EEC) but also involved

for organic products has increased the

finding feasible ways to address the

range of production systems under the

numerous problems associated with

organic umbrella. Besides closed ponds

intensive salmon farming.

on farms they now include open riverine and coastal systems, such as shrimp

Organic salmon was successfully intro-

and salmon farms. Adjusting standards

duced to the German market in 1996

to include open ecosystems has posed

and immediately faced a backlash from

challenges for organic certification, which

the conventional fish sector who threa-

grew out of a ‘closed’ farm based system.

tened legal action against the companies involved with organic salmon on the

34

Naturland Association, from Germany,

grounds that all fish are, per se, ‘biolo-

laid the foundations for the international

gical’ and that labelling fish as organic

development of organic aquaculture, set-

was misleading.

3-2011 | ECOLOGY & FARMING


Aquaculture

What does organic aquaculture mean?

Preserving biodiversity on and around the (fish) farm Respecting the natural balance between genotype, phenotype and environment; Production without chemical substances commonly used in conventional aquaculture; Finding a sustainable level of intensity, in an ecological, social and economic sense Caring for the product at all stages of the value-chain.

Setting standards for organic aquaculture has involved the challenge of translating the existing holistic concept of organic farming and its related principles into the reality of the global aquaculture industry.

ECOLOGY & FARMING | 3-2011

35


Organic aquaculture certification programmes and standards (as of 2008) 1. International Umbrella Organization International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movement (IFOAM) 2. Europe Private standards: Associazione Italiana per I’Agricoltura Biologica (AIAB), Italy; Bio Austria, Austria; Biokontroll Hungária, Hungary; Biokreis, Germany; Bioland, Germany; Biopark, Germany; Bio Suisse, Switzerland; CAAE, Spain; Debio, Norway; Demeter, Germany; Gäa, Germany; Irish Organic Farmers and Growers Association (IOFGA), Ireland; KRAV, Sweden; Naturland e.V., Germany; Organic Food Federation (OFF), United Kingdom; Quality, Certification and Inspection (QC&I), Italy; Soil Association, United Kingdom: Vottunarstofan Tún ehf., Iceland National standards: Økologisk, Denmark; Agriculture Biologique, France; Österreichischer Lebensmittel Codex (Codex alimentarius austriacus), Austria; Junta de Andalucia, Spain 3. Oceania Private standards: Australian Certified Organic (ACO), Australia; BioGro, New Zealand; AsureQuality, New Zealand; National Association for Sustainable Agriculture, Australia (NASAA), Australia (IFOAM Accredited) 4. Asia Private standards: Israel Bio-Organic Agriculture Association (IBOAA), Israel (IFOAM Accredited); Organic Agriculture Certification Thailand (ACT), Thailand; Organic Food Development and Certification Centre of China (OFDC), China (IFOAM Accredited) National standards: China (GB/T19630); Thailand 5. The Americas Private standards: IBD, Brazil; Letis Aquaculture Standards, Argentina (IFOAM Accredited); National standards: Appellations Agroalimentaires du Québec (CAAQ), Canada 36

3-2011 | ECOLOGY & FARMING

Global organic aquaculture production (t/year)

110000

82500

55000

27500

0

2000

2003

2004

2006

2008

2010

Naturland was also at the forefront of the

motivated the Swiss Import Promotion

next important step in the history of orga-

Programme (SIPPO) to develop similar

nic aquaculture, developing standards for

initiatives in Peru, India and Bangladesh.

organic shrimp. With the support of Ger-

A similar project in Java (Indonesia) was

many’s largest development agency (then,

established off by Alter Trade, a Japanese

the Gesellschaft für Technische Zusam-

based NGO.

menarbeit, or GTZ), the standard setting process started in 1998 with round-table

In the United States, discussions on orga-

discussions in Ecuador. In 2000, the

nic aquaculture standards started in 1998

first organic shrimps were imported to

within the National Organic Standards

the United Kingdom by Lyon’s Seafood

Board (NOSB). In 2005, however, these

Ltd. where they were sold at Sainsbury’s

discussions were complicated when Cali-

supermarkets. The concept of organic

fornia prohibited all organic labelling of

shrimp attracted worldwide attention

farmed seafood until a public regulation

and a number of European development

was in place. This setback in the U.S.

agencies became interested in spreading

organic aquaculture sector and market,

the initiative to more Southern countries.

left many pioneers in the sector unsure

Organic shrimp farming held the promise

if they would ever see a return on their

of solving many of the environmental pro-

investments.

blems related to intensive conventional production (e. g. deforestation of man-

In 2000, IFOAM, published its first draft

grove areas and the abuse of antibiotics,

basic standards for organic aquaculture.

leading to residues in the final product). It

The existing IFOAM Basic Standard, a

also offered an alternative business model

‘standard for standards’, served as a

for the shrimp industry, which was suf-

template for developing the standard,

fering from extremely low prices having a

ensuring it was informed by IFOAM’s

strong potential to strengthen the position

principles of organic agriculture. IFOAM

of small-scale producers, who were typi-

became further involved in this new field

cally employing low intensity, ‘close-to-

of activities by forming the IFOAM Aqua-

organic’ systems. The first organic shrimp

culture Group in 2003. This group started

project focused on small-scale producers

to organize lobbying activities, particu-

was in Vietnam, where the sector is domi-

larly in regard to legal standard setting in

nated by small-scale producers, with less

the US and EU, as well coordinating the

than one hectare. The positive response

development of aquaculture standards. In


Aquaculture

2008 they organized the first IFOAM con-

standard setting, the private certification

China has the largest number of certified

ference on organic aquaculture in Italy.

bodies, over time, gained greater com-

individual organic aquaculture operators

petence in aquaculture-specific issues

working under its national regulations

Organic farming principles for aquaculture

and learnt which principles could simply

(121). Naturland is the largest private cer-

Setting standards for organic aquaculture

be adopted from organic agriculture (e.

tifier, covering 47 operations in Europe,

has involved the challenge of translating

g. prohibition of GMOs), which had to be

Asia and Latin America. Particularly in

the existing holistic concept of organic

partially abandoned (e. g. the area-based

Asia, these companies consist of several

farming and its related principles into the

approach) and which needed completely

hundreds of small-scale fish farmers orga-

reality of the global aquaculture industry.

new definitions (e.g. the protection of

nized within an Internal Control System

These principles, laid down by Rudolf

mangrove forests).

(ICS, group certification). Bio Austria and

Steiner (1924), Lady Eve Balfour (1943)

Bio Suisse are also important players in

and Sir Albert Howard (1943), have

The successful introduction of standards

international and domestic aquaculture

been the basis for the development of

for organic aquaculture, set by private

certification.

certification bodies, has been a key driver of the continuous growth in the mar-

Decentralized and locally adapted,

ket for certified organic seafood. Howe-

standard development assures the owner-

ver, the regulatory authorities took longer

ship of operators and the practicability of

to respond to the challenge. It was only

the requirements. Yet, it also creates the

in 2007 that the EU Commission started

challenge of co-ordination. The Global

to discuss rules on organic aquaculture.

Organic Market Access Project (GOMA),

The US National Organic Program (NOP)

funded by the Norwegian Government

started discussions to include rules

(NORAID) has been set up to harmonize

for organic aquaculture within existing

standards and ensure mutual recogni-

organic farming legislation slightly earlier,

tion based on equivalence. The GOMA

the whole organic movement. However,

but after several years of discussion, no

project follows on from the International

organic certification bodies involved in

concrete time plan for a final definition

Task Force on Harmonization and Equi-

pioneering the first aquaculture standards

and implementation has been agreed on.

valence (ITC); both of the initiatives are

quickly found that it was inappropriate to

partnerships between IFOAM, FAO and

simply amend existing organic livestock

Currently, there are at least 35 certifica-

UNCTAD.

standards by adding a few ‘aquacul-

tion standards in the world to regulate

As part of its new Organic Guarantee

ture specific’ provisions. Marine culture

organic aquaculture. Of these, 28 are

System (OGS) - implemented after

systems in particular require a different

private-law based regulations set up by

a membership vote in July 2010 -

approach, since they are embedded in,

organic farmers’ associations or certi-

IFOAM launched the ‘IFOAM Family of

and interact with, an open system making

fication bodies. Most of these certifiers

Standards’, a directory of all organic

it nearly impossible to recycle soluble

already had standards or organic agricul-

standards and regulations. This ‘family’

nutrients within a defined farm area.

ture in place and extended their scope of

unites standards globally and draws a line

activities to include standards for organic

between organic and not organic. This

Private organic certification bodies also

aquaculture. In addition to these private

family of standards will unite the many

had to ensure that they achieved consi-

standards, several countries have public

initiatives, and IFOAM intends to assist

stency with the internationally established

regulations in place. In Europe alone four

those who want to do standard develop-

regulatory frameworks for the organic

national regulations had been formulated

ment under the flag of the jointly main-

food industry, such as those of FAO,

by the end of 2007 (alongside 19 private

tained IFOAM Standard, thus creating

Codex Alimentarius’ ‘Organically Produ-

ones). In Asia, three regulations were

synergies among standard setters. IFOAM

ced Foods’, EU Council Regulation/EEC

established, followed by two private

will also describe best practices in order

no. 2092/91, the USDA/National Organic

standards (in the same countries). There

to lead the development towards more

Program and national regulations for

are four organic aquaculture standards in

sustainability in standards.

organic agriculture. By working with indi-

place in Oceania, two in the US, one in

vidual fish farmers during the process of

Latin America and one in Canada.

Markus Arbenz is the Executive Director of IFOAM.

ECOLOGY & FARMING | 3-2011

37


Hans Herren From ecological researcher to activist By Nick ParrotT

Cheap food comes with huge environmental, social and economic costs. Food needs to be realistically priced or else more family farmers will go out of business 38

3-2011 | ECOLOGY & FARMING


interview

Hans Herren is one of the world’s leading authorities on biological pest control and was co-chair of IAASTD (The International Assessment of Agricultural Know­ ledge, Science and Technology for Development). His career spans pure and applied ecological research and, increasingly, policy advocacy. Ecology & Farming interviewed him on the evening before he gave evidence to the UK’s All Party Agroecology Working Group in the House of Commons, London.

I

trained as agronomist and entomolo-

This is one of the classic models of

gist at ETH-Z, the Federal Institute of

agroecology. Tell us more about it.

Technology in Zurich. My PhD involved

We started by asking ourselves what

researching the Larch Tortrix, a European

farmers grow and if we can rearrange

caterpillar that periodically - every eight

their field puzzle to make use of potential

to twelve years - defoliates alpine forests.

synergies. We studied African farming

It took forty years for people to work out

systems – where maize is a major com-

the dynamics of this pest and how to

ponent and very vulnerable to attacks

control it. This experience stimulated my

by stemborers. We were particularly

interest in biological control, which was

interested in wild grasses; they have co-

then in its infancy. So I went to Berke-

evolved as stemborer hosts, they attract

ley to study under Prof. van den Bosch

them away from the crops, but are uns-

who was the biological control guru at

uitable for their successful development:

the time. I then went onto the Interna-

stemborers only have a 10% survival rate

tional Institute of Tropical Agriculture in

there. Then we looked at a fodder crop

Nigeria, which was the start of 27 years

that repelled stemborers and attracted

of working in Africa. We first worked on

its natural enemies. We had very good

biological control programmes for the

success with Desmodium spp, a legume

cassava mealybug, cassava green mites

crop that also provides nitrogen fertiliza-

and the mango mealybug and integrated

tion and stops the growth of striga – one

pest management programmes for other

of the most persistent weeds in maize

pests of cowpeas and maize. This led to

systems, one that takes a lot of work,

me founding the Biological Control Cen-

usually manual, to control. As a bonus,

tre for Africa in Cotonou, Benin – where

Desmodium also improves general soil

we did work on these pests, and later

fertility, water absorption capacity and

also on a biological control programme

reduces erosion: all elements that incre-

on locusts and grasshoppers, which was

ase the resilience of the system in the

done in partnership with CABI. My career

face of climate change. The fodder pro-

then led me to the International Centre

duced in these fields helped farmers by

of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE)

generating additional income, as well as

in Kenya. One of the things we develo-

closing the carbon cycle, by bringing the

ped there was the push-pull system for

manure back to these fields, whose pro-

controlling stem borers in maize-based

ductivity increased from two to five times.

systems.

Hard to do better……

ECOLOGY & FARMING | 3-2011

39


Despite its attractions it hasn’t taken off

policies, favouring the specific needs

reports, watering down the key messa-

as much as you might have hoped.

of small-scale farmers, such as access

ges and delaying the inevitable paradigm

Why not?

to information and skills. National and

change with all the dangers further delay

It has been adopted by 50,000 farmers –

regional research institutions aren’t really

implies.

but it could go further. The first problem

set up to cater for these needs and most

was, and still is, a lack of recognition by

often do not have enough contact with

That’s why I have set up the Biovision

the donor and development community of

these farmers in the first place. On the

Foundation. To give farmers the informa-

the potential of push-pull as a sustainable

international level, the CGIAR Centres

tion they need to be successful, to deal

way of addressing soil fertility and the

have been dominated by western approa-

with the changing environments, biotic,

issue of low productivity. Then there was

ches to agriculture that focus on breeding

abiotic and economic. Our magazine, The

a shortage of Desmodium seeds – which

with the idea of increasing yields. There

Organic Farmer, is now read by about

are very small – we got women’s groups

is an obvious need to reform agricultural

200,000 farmers in Kenya and beyond,

to run nurseries to supply these, which

research at all levels, to bring it in tune

and some three million farmers listen to

did help, but it was still not enough to

with the findings of the IAASTD report

the radio programme that is linked to

‘Agriculture at a Crossroads’, which

it. This is not just about farmers having

argues the need to pay more attention

access to new knowledge, but also

to the whole system and to the soil. This

exchanging their own experiences with

report recommends organic agriculture

their peers. The Biovision Farmer Informa-

and agroecological practices as the way

tion Programme is backed up by InfoNet,

forward that will assure the long term

an information source developed and

productivity of the soil and a multifunc-

maintained by the Biovision Foundation.

tional agriculture. The report argues the urgency of putting this new paradigm in

Talking of markets, there has been much

place without further delay and that ‘busi-

debate about the price of food recently.

ness as usual’ is no longer an option. The

People have been complaining about

report also emphasized the need to bring

increases in food prices – but the reality

on which to base their food and nutrition

farmers, and in particular women, into

is that in the west only 8% of average

security.

the research and extension cycle and at

family incomes go on food: in Switzerland

get the method ‘go viral’. Push-pull is like all sustainable agricultural practices in that it is quite knowledge intensive, and so requires working extension systems. Farmers like push-pull once they have grasped it – but it needs good timing. A shortage of resources made it difficult to carry out a strong Farmer Field School programme, so that was another stumbling block. New funding opportunities have been secured so new dissemination projects are now being planned. But, a major part of the problem is people’s heavy reliance on maize as a staple cropinstead of using a more diversified and climatically better adapted set of crops

an early stage; to hear their priorities and

it might be just 3%. That’s an all time low.

People often talk of the difficulties of sca-

what holds them back. But since its publi-

Cheap food comes with huge environ-

ling up sustainable agriculture.

cation in 2008, governments (even the

mental, social and economic costs. Food

Yes there’s a kind of inertia in the system

ones that have endorsed the report) have

needs to be realistically priced or else

that needs to be overcome by better

continued to procrastinate: writing more

more small, medium scale and family far-

40

3-2011 | ECOLOGY & FARMING


mers will go out of business, yielding their land to corporate farming. Governments who support and advocate industrial agriculture need to ask themselves what the effect will be in generating a new wave of jobless people, joining the ranks of the current 1.5 billion unemployed. The way forward is simple, internalize the externalities, this will offer key advantages to local and small scale organic and agroecolo-

I think we need to adopt a carrot and

ralization for agricultural products and the

gically produced food. The added bonus

stick approach. Keep reminding poli-

potential of genetic engineering to solve

is better quality food with less water and

ticians that things can’t go on as they

the key problems of hunger and poverty,

more vitamins, micro-elements and anti-

are now – but also tell them how much

nutrition and health, rural livelihoods and

oxidants. This in turn will reduce govern-

better they could be with just a few sim-

inequity and the environment. This has led

ment’s health care bills, which are out of

ple options. The issue of internalizing

to some governments to commission their

control. But supermarkets keep pushing

externalities – mentioned above- is one

own studies which really water down the

down prices and this creates a huge

way that should be easy to implement,

key findings of IAASTD –arguing that there

amount of post-retail waste, about 30 to

by reallocating the huge and perverse

is a strong role for GMOs in this equa-

40% of what is purchased.

agricultural subsidies that are already in

tion. But no single government – north or

We need pressure from consumers and

place towards providing incentives for a

south- has yet rewritten their agriculture

producers to rectify this situation and

transition to sustainable farming practi-

and development policies to reflect this

bring some sense to the food system,

ces, to support positive externalities and

changing reality. We are planning to take

which has created a society where we

pay for ecosystem services. With more

this to the Rio+20 Summit next year and

have 1.5 billion hungry and malnouris-

than US$300 billion going to agricultural

get it on high on the agenda, both within

hed and an equal number of obese and

subsidies a year, the money is not the

and outside the Green Economy discus-

overweight people. Farmers need to get

problem. It is the vested interests of a few

sions.

together and organize themselves – and

corporations and large farmers that work

arrange more farmers’ markets and joint

against the only sensible solutions.

I must have given more than 250 talks on IAASTD. It has helped put agriculture

marketing initiatives to counter the monopolization that, if left untamed, threatens

Business as usual is no longer an option?

back on the international development

our civilization.

That’s exactly the message of the IAASTD

agenda. But now we need to do some-

report. We spent more than four years

thing with these ideas and give them

You recently said you have little confiden-

and recruited more than 400 experts to

wings. I am pessimistic about the poli-

ce in governments to lead this change.

compile that report. The critical question

ticians of today changing course, and

Politicians have short-term timeframes

is how can we nourish the world in fifty

supporting these suggested changes.

and are scared of doing things that are

years time, especially given the uncertain-

Doing so will not benefit their prospects at

unpopular. But it all begins with educa-

ties resulting from climate change, gro-

the next election, but it will benefit future

tion: of consumers, children and politici-

wing population and diminishing natural

generations. We need to have a better

ans. Kids need to be taught good eating

resources.

informed public who will make demands on their leaders. The Rio+20 IAASTD

habits. Politicians need to understand that organic approaches and more expensive

Fifty nine countries, including developing

action and seeking to mobilize the world’s

food will create more jobs in the country-

and developed countries, have endorsed

youth are two ways in which I am working

side, will create a vibrant rural economy,

the report, which was sponsored by six

to open people’s eyes and avoid the next

will help repopulate the countryside – and

UN agencies and the World Bank. But

collapse.

will enable the more gifted to stay and

developed countries have shown little

prosper instead of moving to the cities. It

willingness to implement its findings, for

maintains the landscape and will produce

various reasons, the most important being

high quality nutritious food.

the report’s critical position on trade libe-

For more information about Biovision, visit the foundation’s website: www.biovision.ch Copies of the IAASTD report can be downloaded (in five languages) from www.agassessment.org/

ECOLOGY & FARMING | 3-2011

41


By Elke Peiler

The organic sector in Tunisia

New circumstances, continuous growth?

Tunisia is the second largest organic producer (in terms of land) in Africa and the only African or Arabic country with third country equivalence status with the EU. The previous government was providing technical and financial support to aid the development of the sector and to raise its profile domestically. But will all this change? 42

3-2011 | ECOLOGY & FARMING


Country-reports

T

he organic movement in Tunisia

than 2,000. The volume of exported pro-

– CTAB). In May 2010, a set of stamps

started in the 1980s and was based

ducts has quadrupled from 3,018 tons in

carrying images of organic products was

on private initiatives. However, the deve-

2003/2004 to 12,000 tons in 2008/2009,

published. Last, but not least, the week

lopment of the sector was very slow

these exports were worth 55 million Dinar

also saw the second national trade fair on

until 1999 when the (former) government

(40 million USD, 28 million Euro), compa-

organic farming and biological agro-pro-

launched a national strategy for organic

red to 12 million Dinar in 2003/2004. The

cessing (BIO-EXPO) organized between

agriculture that covered several key areas.

amount of land under organic cultivation

the 26th and 29th of May 2011 in La

These included a legislative basis for

and the volume of organic production have

Soukra. Compared to last year there were

organic farming, together with support for

grown much faster than the volume and

less exhibitors: around 30, compared

research, education and training, extensi-

value of exports and this has resulted in

to about 50. However, according to the

on, organization, structure and promotion.

a growth in organic produce coming onto

organizers this was due to post-revolution

Under this programme the government

the domestic market.

problems experienced by many compa-

bears 30% of all the costs regarding

nies, who did not participate this year but

the conversion of farms to organic pro-

The current programme (covering the

plan to do so again next year. Despite

duction and 70% of the expenses for

period 2009 to 2014) has set the ambitious

this the atmosphere at the fair was very

certification and inspections. This has led

goal of extending the land surface under

optimistic.

to significant growth in Tunisia’s organic

organic farming to 500,000 ha by 2014. It

sector. The main growth areas have been

also seeks to more than double the value

in the production of organic olives and

of exported organic products to 120 million

dates, crops that are relatively easy to

Dinar in the same period and sets a goal

grow organically. At the same time there

for local consumption of organic products,

has also been an increase in the volume

at 1% of total consumption by 2014.

of certified almonds, vegetables, citrus

To achieve these ambitious objectives,

fruits, medicinal plants, honey and jojoba

new measures have been implemented to

coming onto the market.

raise awareness among the population. Thus, in 2010 the country’s first ‘organic

Tunisia is the only country in Africa and in

week’ was organized, with several infor-

This programme was set in motion by

the Arabic world which has acquired ‘third

mation programs in different media. In

the previous government, who based on

country equivalence’ with the EU for orga-

addition a dedicated research laboratory

several studies, saw the export potential

nic products, giving it ready access to the

for organic farming has been set up (La

of organic products from Tunisia (dates,

EU market. The Tunisian Government has

Centre Technique d’Agriculture Biologique

olive oil and others). It is too early to say

authorized 5 internationally accredited

anything about likely developments under

control and certification bodies to certify

the new government: the elections do

locally produced organic products.

not take place until October. However,

Between 2002 and 2009 the area

the focus of the new government will

under organic cultivation increased

probably not change, as the organic sec-

from 18,600 to almost 336,000 ha.

tor has become very important, in terms

Tunisia is now the second largest

of surface area, volumes produced, the

organic producer (in terms of land) in

number of producers and export figures.

Africa and ranked at number 24 among

The main question is whether the new

the 141 countries around the world

government will continue to subsidize the

where organic farming is practiced (Wil-

conversion process as before.

ler & Lucas 2011). The volume of organic crops produced increased from 9,000 tons in 2002 to 247,000 tons in 2009. And, in the same period, the number of enterprises working in this sector has increased from 481 to more

Elke Peiler runs the agro-processing department within the German-Tunisian Chamber of Commerce in Tunis (AHK Tunisia), supporting Tunisian producers to get access to the European market. References Willer, H and K. Lucas (2011) Survey on Organic Agriculture Worldwide 2011. FiBL/ IFOAM www.bioexpotunisia.com

ECOLOGY & FARMING | 3-2011

43


Biodiversity and the ‘Green Economy’ By Robert Jordan

Rio +20

Preparations are already underway to set the agenda for Rio+20 in 2012. Robert Jordan looks at the background to the conference, the emerging agenda and IFOAM’s plans to contribute to the debate over the ‘Green Economy’.

44

3-2011 | ECOLOGY & FARMING


Events

economic growth. They believe that the

tives on forest protection, carbon trading

only option left is to ‘cut a deal’ with the

and technology transfer. Policy develop-

global economy.

ments, such as the expansion of market mechanisms (including REDD+), access

However bringing these environmental

and benefit sharing protocols and the

and social issues together, under an eco-

valuing of nature and its services through

nomic banner, even a ‘green one’ means

initiatives such as TEEB (The Economics

the future of the planet will be dealt with

of Ecosystems and Biodiversity) are likely

first and foremost as an economic issue.

to be high on the agenda of discussions

It leaves little room for sentiment or ide-

about the ‘Green Economy’.

alism and will favour those individuals,

T

he transition of the global economy

organizations or nations that currently

The institutional framework

have economic power and influence. Yet

Another major theme at Rio+20 will be

this also reflects the current reality that

reviewing the institutional framework for

economic activity is the driver of potenti-

sustainable development. Changes to

ally catastrophic climate change and other

international environmental governance

critical environmental issues.

could turn out to be radical and could

towards a ‘Green Economy’ is now

give a ‘Green Economy’ teeth. A new

firmly on the international agenda. The

While there is currently no generally

World Environment Organization or a

‘Green Economy’ will be a major theme

agreed concept of what the ‘Green Eco-

strengthened UNEP are amongst the

of next year’s high profile UN Conference

nomy’ entails, its appeal lies in its promise

options being discussed to simplify the

on Sustainable Development to be held in

of growth while protecting the earth’s eco-

institutional framework and strengthen

Rio, 20 years after the original Earth Sum-

systems and contributing to poverty alle-

sustainable development. Many countries

mit, in the same city.

viation. UNEP’s Green Economy Report,

from the global South see unfair trade

the most comprehensive elaboration of

regimes as the biggest barrier to achie-

Interest in the ‘Green Economy’ is rising

the concept to date, is based on the pre-

ving the sustainability and poverty eradi-

especially amongst developed nations

mise that economic growth and environ-

cation goals of a ‘Green Economy’. Trade

who see it as an opportunity to stimu-

mental stewardship can be complemen-

issues are already at the centre of the UN

late economic growth while addressing

tary strategies. It challenges the common

Climate Talks and are likely to spill over

social and environmental issues. Leaders

view that there are significant trade-offs

into the Rio+20 process as developing

within the UN now believe that rebalan-

that need to be made between the two

nations seek a much fairer deal.

cing the global economy is the only way

and argues that it is possible to decouple

to address climate change, ecosystem

economic growth from increased resource

The Rio+20 process

integrity, biodiversity loss, desertification

use and environmental degradation. This

The decision to hold a high level con-

and food, water and energy security and

is an attractive proposition, one that orga-

ference on sustainable development to

many other key issues. The UN General

nic agriculture strives to uphold.

mark the 20th anniversary of the Earth Summit was made by the UN General

Secretary, Ban Ki-Moon, whose personal mission was global warming, recently

Yet, there is scepticism from some that

Assembly in late 2009. The resolution

ended his hands-on involvement with the

the ‘Green Economy’ is an attempt to

called for the conference to secure rene-

international climate change negotiations

steer the Rio+20 summit and sustaina-

wed political commitment for sustainable

in a strategic shift to the broader agenda

ble development away from addressing

development, to assess progress made

of promoting sustainable development.

the root causes of the ecological crises.

to date, the gaps in implementing the

Several key figures within the UN believe

Some see the process as being a hidden

resolutions from earlier major summits on

that the plethora of Multilateral Environ-

attempt to open-up new forms of markets

sustainable development and to address

mental Agreements (MEAs) that have

and create new forms of ownership over

new and emerging challenges. The reso-

been developed over the past two deca-

public goods. They see parallels with

lution also called for a unique preparatory

des (such as the Conventions on Climate

the climate change negotiations which

process in which all stakeholders (govern-

Change and Biodiversity - UNFCCC and

have so far failed to curb emissions and

ments, intergovernmental agencies and

UNCBD) are not strong enough to coun-

instead opted for the politically much

civil society) were invited to contribute

ter balance the environmental impacts of

easier ‘industry and market friendly’ initia-

to a working document (the ‘Zero Draft’).

ECOLOGY & FARMING | 3-2011

45


The Zero Draft will form the basis for the

Yet despite the positive vision the

To strengthen the organic movement’s

discussions (and outcome document) at

‘Green Economy’ report has for agri-

voice within the Rio process, IFOAM is

Rio+20.

culture, it is far from universally shared.

working with a range of partners, inclu-

There are massive political challenges to

ding some of the authors of the IAASTD

A number of preparatory meetings are being held in advance of Rio+20. These are designed to identify key emerging issues and will help set the agenda for the summit. A number of key issues were raised at a recent Rio+20 preparatory meeting in March this year. These included: climate change and related natural disasters; the financial, economic, energy and food crises; the degradation of ecosystems; diminishing natural resources and water scarcity; political instability and social unrest and; unsustainable patterns of production and consumption. Many governments also suggested that the framework of the Millennium Development Goals should be extended beyond 2015.

The organic movement and its allies must push for a ‘Green Economy’ that ushers in a new paradigm based on care.

report, to develop formal submissions to the Zero Draft document. IFOAM is also working closely with the World Food Programme and the African Union to raise awareness of the multi-functional benefits of agro-ecological practices for the world’s most climatically and food

Organic pioneers

scaling-up organic agriculture and we

The organic movement can be seen as

must not forget the plight of the world’s

a pioneer of the ‘Green Economy.’ Its

1 billion hungry people, who are poorly

One outcome from Rio might be a blue-

practices and systems have the potential

served by national and international

print for a ‘Green Economy’. However,

to establish a globally sustainable food

agricultural policies as well as the global

any blueprint that does not address the

economy based on the judicious sustai-

trading system. The organic movement

gross ‘market failures’ that see one billion

nable use of biodiversity and ecosystem

has much to offer in terms of making

people needlessly go hungry each year is

services and its principles of health,

affordable and effective practices more

totally unacceptable. The organic move-

ecology, fairness and care. The ‘Green

accessible.

ment and its allies must push for a ‘Green

Economy’ report states that “agriculture

Agriculture is at the centre of just about

Economy’ that ushers in a new paradigm

based on a green-economy vision inte-

all the world’s current environmental cri-

based on care. Care for Mother Earth and

grates location-specific organic resource

ses, yet it is still a strategic challenge to

care for each other – especially the most

inputs and natural biological processes to

ensure that it will be high on the agenda

vulnerable.

restore and improve soil fertility; achieve

at Rio. One strategy is to position it

more efficient water use; increase crop

under the ‘new and emerging issues’

and livestock diversity; support integrated

objective rather than under the ‘Green

pest and weed management and pro-

Economy’, where the critical issues of

motes employment and smallholder and

food security and sustainability could

family farms’’.

get lost.

46

3-2011 | ECOLOGY & FARMING

insecure communities.

Robert Jordan is responsible for IFOAM’s ­international advocacy campaigns and activities. The goal of IFOAM’s advocacy work is to position organic agriculture as a widely recognized and utilized development model that addresses food security, climate change and biodiversity loss. advocacy@ifoam.org


Our organic seeds grow your success Rijk Zwaan is a world-leading specialist in creating high-quality vegetable varieties; also for the organic market. We do this through innovative research & development, led by the needs of our customers. It is our aim to be a knowledgeable, collaborative partner, with infinite respect for the environment. Rijk Zwaan. www.rijkzwaan.com

423797RZW_adv187x126.indd 1

03-02-11 09:17

“Healthy flow of money in society” Our Mission

• Explain and promote sustainable agriculture and animal production in its productive chain, aiming health and life integrity of humans, animals, plants, water, earth and air.

Our activities:

• Organization of national and international seminars and conferences. In 2010 the focus has been public health and quality of living in relation to food security and food origin; • High quality level networking in universities, industry, government, medical and consumer  associations, sustainability orientation; • Support of small communities, who strive to protect the social, health, gender, economic  sound and environment aspects of common living. Municipality impacts of global warming and food security; • Support of industries who seek quality and safety in their products; • Networking in the NGO world; • Consultancy and observatories in medicine, toxicology, agriculture, law and food.     Etica da Terra /Instituto Ita Wegman do Brasil has won a special status -OSCIP- from the Ministry of Justice in Brasil in 2010.

Contact

Josiana Arippol E-mail: josiana@eticadaterra.org Tel: +55 11 3443-6423 Av. Brig. Faria Lima, 3729-4o/5o andares CEP: 04538-905 São Paulo/SP/Brasil

Josiana Arippol E-mail: josiana@institutoitawegmandobrasil.org Tel: +55 11 3443-6397 Av. Brig. Faria Lima, 3729-4o/5o andares CEP: 04538-905 São Paulo/SP/Brasil


BREEDING SQUARE ORGANICSEEDS.NL AT BIOVAK 2012, TRADE FAIR FOR SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE, NATURE AND FOOD QUALITY

On an attractive and convenient Breeding Square with a large number of companies, many Dutch nurseries and traders in the plant sector show their varieties, which are of great importance to the national and international organic market. The Dutch nurseries and traders produce organic propagating material including the following crops: Vegetables (covered and open cultivation): Leaf vegetables, tomatoes, sweet peppers, carrots, beetroots, cabbage crops, cucumbers, pumpkins; Arable crops: potatoes, sowing onions, set onions, shallots, garlic, cereals, grasses; Medicinal herbs; Fodder crops; Green manuring crops; Fruits: Apples, pears; Soft fruit; Parkland trees and avenue trees; Shrubs; Ornamental plants: Tulip bulbs, flowers, garden plants. Workshops: We would like to invite you to join the workshops. Especially since both days of the BioVak workshops are scheduled to form new visions in which your participation and input are important. For example on how to get in the future the right varieties at the right farms. In order to obtain the highest yields in balance with nature we need more diversity, possibly even for each farmer his own selection of plant varieties. Plant varieties which are well adapted to the local circumstances and give the best food for the local people. Organicseeds.nl is working on an approach in this field.

Trade Fair for Sustainable Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality.

ICEM ’s Gravenweg 44 2911 CG Nieuwerkerk aan den IJssel The Netherlands Mike and/or Joop de Looze T. +31(0)180-31.46.62 E. mikedelooze@icem.nl

WEDNESDAY 18 AND THURSDAY 19, JANUARY, 2012 IJSSELHALLEN - ZWOLLE THE NETHERLANDS - 30 MINUTES FROM AIRPORT AMSTERDAM www.biovak.nl You are cordially invited!

Organicseeds.nl De Welle 48 8939 AT Leeuwarden The Netherlands Bertus Buizer T. +31 (0) 582990530 E. info@organicseeds.nl


AUGUST - DECEMBER 2011 //

SEPTEMBER 21-24th, 2011 Bio Balkan Expo 2011 Belgrade, Serbia www.alexpo.co.rs SEPTEMBER 22-24th, 2011 BioFach America 2011 Baltimore, USA www.biofach-america.com SEPTEMBER 26th OCTOBER 5th, 2011 17th Organic World Congress 2011 Gyeonggi Paldang, South Korea www.kowc2011.org OCTOBER 3-5th, 2011 IFOAM General Assembly 2011 Gyeonggi Paldang, South Korea www.ifoam.org/GA2011

OCTOBER 5-7th, 2011 BioFach America Latina 2011 Sao Paulo, Brazil www.biofach-americalatina.com NOVEMBER 1-3rd, 2011 BioFach Japan 2011 Tokyo, Japan www.biofach-japan.com NOVEMBER 10-12th, 2011 BioFach India 2011 Mumbai, India www.biofach-india.com NOVEMBER 30th DECEMBER 2nd, 2011 AgriPro Asia Expo and Agri-Conference Asia 2011 Hong Kong, China www.agriproasia.com

Calen dar Items DECEMBER 5-7th, 2011 Middle East Natural & Organic Products Expo 2011 Dubai, United Arab Emirates www.naturalproductme.com These are events organized or endorsed by IFOAM. If you are organizing an (international) congress, fair, training, etc. in organic farming, marketing, and you would like to have it on the E&F calendar, please contact the editors: p.brul@ecologyandfarming.com


CONTACT Ecology & Farming is a magazine for all elements of the organic movement - from organic farmers’ associations to organizations from the organic food industry and fair trade; from research institutions to certifiers; from organic consumers to organic advocates. Ecology & Farming provides information on key issues in the organic sector and offers the space for discussions on key issues. IFOAM  The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements is the umbrella organization for the organic movement. Established in 1972, IFOAM has over 800 affiliates in more than 100 countries. and represents the common interests of the organic movement based on the principles of organic agriculture (ecology, health, fairness, care). IFOAM’s mission is to lead, assist and unite the organic movement in its full diversity. Peter Brul has been working in the organic sector as a farmer, researcher and consultant. As the Chief-Editor of Ecology & Farming he brings in his international experience in organic farming. The Van Westering Groep B.V. have been publishing magazines since 1988. VWG also maintains a focus on ecology through Ekoland, the professional magazine for organic farming in the Netherlands and Belgium and Gezond Bouwen & Wonen, a professional magazine about sustainable building and living.

Publisher  Jaap van Westering Editorial staff  Peter Brul (editor in chief) Denise Godinho Nick Parrott Contributors to this issue  Authors: Markus Arbenz, Tobias Bandel, Peter Brul, Patricia Flores Escudero, Bernward Geier, Daniel Giovanucci, Machteld Hüber, Robert Jordan, Alexander Kasterne, André Leu, Nick Parrott, Joost Pierrot, Elke Peiler, Gunnar Rundgren, Lucy van de Vijver Photos: Argencert, Bernward Geier, Olaf Hammelberg, Simon Levelt BV, Elke Peiler, Soil&More, Lucy van de Vijver Editorial office  P.O.Box 696 3740 AP Baarn, The Netherlands T +31 35 88 735 31 F +31 35 54 241 19 E p.brul@ecologyandfarming.com W www.ecologyandfarming.com

Lay-out  Vilarrica bv, Baarn, The Netherlands Maurice Spithoven (design) Annemieke Praamstra Advert acquisition  Van Westering Groep bv Baarn, The Netherlands T +31 35 88 735 31 Subscriber administration  P.O.Box 696 3740 AP Baarn, The Netherlands E subscriptions@ ecologyandfarming.com W www.ecologyandfarming.com Subscription  Annual fee (2011), frequency of 6 x per year: Companies € 120 NGO’s €  90 IFOAM members can get a reduction of 50% Print er Drukkerij van Amerongen, The Netherlands FSC certified

Ecology and Farming is published by Van Westering Groep bv, Netherlands, under the auspices of IFOAM


Ecology and Farming No 3/2011  

International magazine for the organic sector

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