No 2 // June 2013

SOS Save Our Seeds

Growth in the American organic sector


Sustainable Cocoa production and market

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JUNE 2013 // No 2

Table of Con tents
MARKET 36 The global market for organic food and non- food production Calculating the value of organic chains. GMO 39 GMO Safety Issues based on Science standards 46 The Organic Standard education 48 A birthplace for social innovation The Social Innovation Centre at Heliopolis University for Sustainable Development.

safety issues


photo impression 28 Doug Tompkin’s Laguna Blanca COuNtRY pROFILE 30 The UK’s Signs of revival.

in The american organic sector
Strong growth and new challenges in the USA. COuNtRY pROFILE 14 Springbockvley

10 Growth

organic market And more....
Editorial 7 Calendar 51

farming MARKET


The efficiency of low input livestock

a Communication Strategy for the Organic Sector

33 Developing

20 Cocoa Where does your chocolate come from? agro biodiversity 24 SOS save our seeds The Global Seed Alliance.

com .France .ecocert. organic cosmetics.32600 L’Isle-Jourdain . food quality and safety. systems and services Drafting of standards Training FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT A WORLDWIDE NETWORK OF EXPERTS Name and seal recognized by authorities and consumers Expert in organic farming and inputs.Certification body Inspection and certification of products.T +33 (0) 5 62 07 34 24 . carbon balance. organic textiles.www. fair trade.BP 47 . social responsibility Ecocert SA .

comes from Bernward Geier. In our opinion one of the best strategies for this is to show the results of best practices in organic farming world wide. While citizens may protest and demand food labelling. who was interviewed in the previous edition. an organic farmer in Ireland. invites us to develop a more successful communication strategy for organic agriculture. a call to save our seeds. Monsanto. But the organic sector can work – together with others – on Peter Brul People working in the organic movement are often inspired by good and beautiful farms. Exchanging and developing seeds is one way to do this. the President of IFOAM. the markets continue to grow. It is also about beauty. New ways are continually found to make links between producers and consumers. beautiful farms How can organic farming help to feed a growing world population and remain a sustainable form of agriculture? This was one of the interesting discussions that emerged from the IFOAM working group on ‘best practices in organic agriculture’. Elsewhere in this issue André Leu. Their strategy is aggressive since it threatens other more sustainable ways of developing agriculture. More than two million people around the world have just shown that they are angry and worried by marching against Monsanto. Another activist article. The publication on best practices will soon be available and you will be able to read more about it in the coming editions. I agree with him that we can and should do much more in this field. the USA and Europe.introduction Denise Godinho Peter Brul Best practices. for example. the UK and for cocoa. summarises the scientific findings about the potential health effects of consuming GMOs. We hope they inspire you! ECOLOGY & FARMING | 2-2013 7 . quality food and a diverse and clean environment. All hopeful stories! good agricultural practices with a wide range of (local) resilient varieties. In these difficult economic times in the main markets for organic products. Now we show you some more pictures of this beautiful farm. has a quite different approach for tackling problems and developing agriculture. Jozef Fincke. so they can choose the food they want (or don’t want) and a food production system they want. That is the message of Doug Tomkins. Best practice not only involves good yields. (worth 70 billion US dollars last year). But another source of inspiration is the continuous development of the organic sector and the market for organic produce. and market developments in the USA. In this issue you will find reports about the world market. There are very different solutions for solving the big challenges facing agriculture. This issue covers other activist topics.

Rijk Zwaan. We do this through innovative research & development.Our organic seeds grow your success Rijk Zwaan is a world-leading specialist in creating high-quality vegetable varieties. collaborative partner. www. It is our aim to be a knowledgeable.rijkzwaan.indd 1 03-02-11 09:17 • Measure: Calculate your CO2 Footprint Reduce your emissions Become climate neutral • Improve: • Neutralize: • We set up emission reduction projects in developing countries and generate sustainable carbon credits through organic 423797RZW_adv187x126.soilandmore. with infinite respect for the Let’s join forces on our way to sustainability! .com or contact as at +31 (0)880 079 500 / info@soilandmore. led by the needs of our customers. • We deliver customized sustainability solutions worldwide. • We develop and manage composting projects and help farmers improve soil fertility. Interested? Find out more about our services at www. also for the organic market.

Monsanto is quite tough.pdf 1 5/28/13 2:22 PM Advertisement tively allows Monsanto and other corporations that use GMOs to plant and sell genetically altered products even if legal action is being taken against them.S. They claim that WikiLeaks has uncovered communications from the U. More information can be found on March Against Monsanto’s website: www.” In March 2013 the U. the relationship between Monsanto and the U. This lobbying also extended to food labelling laws in Europe and other countries.S State Department that actively lobbies foreign governments to adopt pro-agricultural biotechnology legislation. a small group in the USA. in 52 countries. March Against Monsanto Director Nick Bernabe: “What we’re trying to do is raise awareness about GMOs and the health effects that they’re causing and bring about some solutions as to what people can do to take back control over their food supply. They are accused of routinely denying any health and environmental risks. The initiative developed into a global campaign and demonstration with over two million people Link: http://tile. manipulating research and political decisions about consumer rights and denying the rights of farmers to reproduce seeds. Around 200. Monsanto is accused of aggressively pushing the introduction of genetically modified crops. government extends even beyond Congress and the Supreme Court. Effectively this means that the The legislation effec- 9x5cm_Final.000 people were expected to rally against Monsanto.pngAs ECOLOGY & FARMING | 2-2013 9 . took the initiative to raise awareness about the lack of action from the US and other national governments. News   As readers of Ecology & Farming might know. Congress has given Monsanto (and others) a carte blanche to largely ignore the country´s judiciary. A German newspaper (Süddeutsche Zeitung) recently reported that a spokesman of Monsanto has declared that they will stop lobbying in Europe. According to Food & Water Watch. but so it seems are its opponents.openstreetmap. due to lack of support for GMOs among farmers. seeks to improve the image of biotechnology and challenges commonsense biotechnology safeguards and rules. ‘March Against Monsanto’ . citizens and politicians. Congress passed a biotechnology rider which was dubbed the ’Monsanto Protection Act’ .S. but more than two million took part in the day of action campaign. The ‘March Against Monsanto’ was organised on May 25 in 436 cities.S.// 2 million protesters marched against the biotech mulitinational Monsanto.march-against-monsanto.

S. the U. 10 2-2013 | ECOLOGY & FARMING . Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) published the results of its first survey focused exclusively on certified organic production throughout the nation.Growth in the American organic sector Barbara Fitch Haumann Strong growth and new challenges in the USA In October 2012.

COM help refine federal crop insurance offerings for organic producers. Stronger enforcement in the NOP The average sales per organic farm worked out to be $414. It also issued seven penalties. The survey also asked certified farms where their products were marketed.726.S. A revoked operation or a person responsible for a revoked operation may not obtain certification for a period of five years. $276 million for eggs.5 billion) to reach $31. CONSUMER SALES $3.S. Organic berries N OVER OF PARENTS BUY ORGANIC TO AVOID TOXIC PESTICIDES AND FERTILIZERS ASS conducted the survey for USDA’s Risk Management Agency to accounted for $125. compared with the $134. The 9. worth a total of $80.1 billion in farm-gate sales of vegetables and $494. certified organic farms generated $1. for wilful violations of national organic regulations. RANCHES. The states with the most certified organic farms were California (1. New York (597). and is larger than peanuts and cotton combined.S. According to the survey. followed by New York.2 million for certified organic apples and $160. ACCOUNT FOR THE LARGEST SHARE OF THE $2.5 billion worth of organically grown agricultural commodities in 2011. with more than 91. THE ORGANIC INDUSTRY GREW BY WITH CANADA AND THE EU EXPAND GLOBAL MARKETS TEN PERCENT Organic is an important part of the diverse U. and retailers across the organic supply chain. Thus. SUCH AS CLOTHING. Eighty-one per cent of sales were through the wholesale market. ranchers.807 average for all farms taking part in the 2007 U. The Organic Trade Association represents over 6.5 BILLION ORGANIC NON-FOOD MARKET 42% TRUST IN THE USDA ORGANIC SEAL OF PARENTS REPORT THEIR HAS INCREASED 10% ORGANIC 30% OVER OF ALL FRUIT AND VEGETABLES SOLD TO U.C. Of this.S.6 million for certified organic grapes.000 acres harvested in 2011.S. The findings showed that U.000 acres. FAMILIES ARE 81% ORGANIC BUYING 16% MORE THAN A HALF MILLION AMERICAN JOBS ORGANIC APPLE MORE THAN FARMS. handlers.S. D. Wisconsin led the nation in organic field crop acreage.S.000.5 ORGANIC GROWERS $$ FOURTH FOOD/FEED CROP Country profile OF THE ORGANIC MARKET IS DAIRY organic milk. distributors.5 per cent overall in 2011 (or $2. Sales of certified organic livestock products included $765 million for RANKS ORGANIC IN 2012 U. including $122. organic industry grew by 9. with 110. LINENS. the organic ECOLOGY & FARMING | 2-2013 11 .000 acres and California.500 farmers. USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP) announced in September 2012 that it had suspended the organic certifications of 200 operations and revoked six so far that year.S.OF ORGANIC PRODUCTS $35 BILLION ORGANIC FOOD AND FARMING GENERATES REAC HED OVER GENERATED BY CERTIFIED $ BILLION IN FARM-GATE SALES IN 2011 IN U. Driven by consumer demand.5 billion in sales.S. Wisconsin (870). AND MATTRESSES. Learn more at OTA.S. With added staff in the past few years.3 million in farm sales. this means that there is a very good case for the organic sector having a seat at the table when agricultural policy is decided by policy makers in Washington. PRODUCTION AT FARM-GATE VALUES OF U.750 ORGANIC AND BUSINESSES IN TRIPLED IN 2012 CERTIFIED THE UNITED STATES FIBER PRODUCTS. certified organic growers sold more than $3. Washington (493) and Iowa (467). ORGANIC EQUIVALENCY ARRANGEMENTS IN 2012.2 billion in organically grown agricultural commodities and more than $1 billion in livestock products in 2011. NOP has explained that a suspended operation may not sell or represent its products as USDA Organic until it is reinstated in writing by NOP. certified organic farmers and ranchers sold more than $2. 13 per cent of sales were made directly to retailers and the remaining 6 per cent concerned direct sales to consumers. processors. with more than 97. CONSUMERS ARE T WO U. EXPORTS 17. This total of farm-gate sales means that the organic sector would rank as the fifth largest commodity class in the United States.140 U. agricultural landscape. the U.898). and $115 million for chicken.8 million in sales of fruits. as pointed out by the Organic Trade Association (OTA). Census of Agriculture.

Cream of the Crop: The Economic Benefits of Organic Dairy Farms. dairy farmers have had a choice: either get big or get out. Organically raised cows graze on pasture during the growing season. the Obama Administration released a report on rural communities and businesses highlighting the tremendous value of the organic sector in the nation’s diverse agricultural economy. Under this scenario. echoing a report released by OTA in April. with emerging research industry generated more than 500. while the organic non-food sector reached $2.S.S.The White House report notes rapid growth in the U.S. also outlines policy recommendations to support the expansion of organic farming in the United States. and that the milk produced may be better for human health. but still remains the smallest of the eight organic food categories. As a result. and employ 83 per cent more workers. eat organically grown feed. Organic food sales experienced 9. and are not treated with synthetic hormones or antibiotics. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Vice President Joe Biden negotiated a nine-month extension of the 2012 Farm Bill which was attached to the complex ‘fiscal cliff’ legislation. organic industry. entitled Organic Farming for Health and Prosperity.7 per cent growth in the same year. and helping rural businesses become more competitive. 2012. the House of Representatives never voted on it. released in midNovember 2012 once more confirmed that the organic dairy sector provides more economic opportunities and generates more jobs in rural communities than conventional dairies. compared to 5 per cent for comparable non-organic items. which showed that the organic food food and beverage sector was valued at $29. Prospects for 2012 and 2013. prepared by the Council of Economic Advisers. In the waning hours of 2012. The first-of-its-kind study.4 per cent growth in 2011.000 American jobs in 2010. up from 4 per cent in 2010. according to findings from the Organic Trade Association’s (OTA’s) 2012 Organic Industry Survey. although the fastest-growing sector was the meat. organic dairy production offers farmers another option – one that is better for the environment. organic dairies would increase the state’s economy by 11 per cent more and employment by 14 per cent more than conventional dairy farms. Meanwhile. The report. and leads to greater levels of economic activity. Organic food sales now represent 4. calculated the economic value of organic milk production based on 2008-2011 financial data from Vermont and Minnesota. in Minne- Market growth continues at almost 10% p . In June 2012. peer-reviewed report extolling the multiple societal benefits of organic farming in North America. Senate approved its version of a new farm bill last summer. The easing of the recession. the Organic Farming Research Foundation released a sciencebased. Similarly. The fruit and vegetable category contributed close to 50 per cent of those new dollars. food sales. “Over the past 30 years. Meanwhile. two major milk-producing states. U.a. “However. One of the biggest challenges for the organic industry during the year was the unresolved outlook for a new farm bill. which experienced 4. produces a healthier product. consumer price inflation due to increases in input prices and consumers’ increasing desire for convenience products were all contributory factors. which are the two largest organic product categories. The report. known as the American Taxpayer Relief Act. Dairy farmers either had to expand dramatically and become large industrial operations or they went out of business. In addition. sota.” said Jeffrey O’Hara.22 billion. organic nonfood sales experienced a strong 11 per cent growth. agricultural economist for the Food and Environment Program at UCS and author of the report. This legislation passed the Senate early . fish & poultry category. as indicated through the 2012 survey results. Organic dairy and fresh produce. which posted 13 per cent growth.” showing that well-managed organic dairy farms are less harmful to the environment than conventional dairies. the White House Rural Council and USDA.2 per cent of all U. indicate that organic food and non-food sales will continue to sustain growth levels of nine per cent or more.2 billion. pointed to numerous examples of how organic agriculture and trade are expanding opportunities for agricultural production. Consumer demand for organic dairy products has jumped dramatically over the past decade. 12 2-2013 | ECOLOGY & FARMING The report also compared the economic value that would be generated by conventional and organic farms in the two states if both experienced the same hypothetical level of increased sales. provisions in the 2008 Farm Bill expired in September 30. Although the U. were specifically highlighted for their central roles in creating opportunities for farmers and ranchers. Overall growth outpaced that among comparable conventionally produced food and non-food items. organic dairy farms in Vermont could be expected to contribute 33 per cent more to the state’s economy than conventional farms. a report by the Union of Concerned Scientists.S.

beef and eggs. The organic sector is not recogas primary natural disaster areas and approximately 390 other counties as contiguous disaster areas. work must begin anew on a full five-year farm bill.200 U. ECOLOGY & FARMING | 2-2013 13 . USDA granted temporary derogations for organic ruminant livestock producers in counties declared as primary or contiguous natural disaster areas and with non-irrigated pastures.S. This means that the organic sector would not qualify for a promotional programme such as the existing ones. OTA noted that the science cited in this report points firmly towards the positive aspects of organic farming. in 2013. It also eliminated any investments in the future of rural communities. with the House of Representatives approving it less than 20 hours later. family farming and organic farming. several research reports added to consumer confusion as the media and the framework offered by researchers claimed that organic products were no more nutritious than conventional counterparts.”). The OTA has begun to pursue solutions to these issues. These are industry funded but are administered by the government. Country profile nised as a distinct commodity class. organic operations. revitalise rural communities and initiatives to foster a new generation of family farmers and ranchers were completely absent from the final farm bill extension. There are currently numerous commodity ORPPs in the USA. Such legislation will need to work its way back through committee stages and onto the floors of both House and Senate prior to being enacted into law. whether organic or not.S. The goal of such a programme would be to offer a collective industry solution to distinguish organic products in the marketplace. most notably those promoting milk.S. farms and businesses certified to its organic regulations by 2015. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Kathleen Merrigan said in a video address given at the autumn 2012 meeting of the US National Organic Standards Board that this is “an audacious goal. increase demand. For example. but it is up to the entire organic sector whether to pursue such a programme. farmers. sheep and goats) to come from organic pastures.S. Barbara Fitch Haumann is Senior Editor/Writer with the Organic Trade Association e mail bhaumann@ota. A telling indication of the drought’s impact on organic farmers was reflected in the temporary derogations issued by USDA’s National Organic Program to address the problems that organic producers’ had in meeting requirements for at least 30 per cent of dry matter intake for ruminants (cattle. The legislation would require amending the current ORPPs so that organic products are recognised as a commodity class. and partial reimbursement to farmers for certification costs. In addition. but if everyone does their part to help organic farmers and ranchers and processors. the organic sector was not so fortunate. Meanwhile. hosting numerous in-person and online meetings with the goal of reaching an industry-wide decision on whether this is a viable option. reaching a goal of on January 1st. 2012 will be remembered as the year of severe drought. and provides many reasons for purchasing organic foods. The OTA has been facilitating the process. organic industry continues to discuss a possible sector-wide organic research and promotion programme (ORPP). organic research and extension. The Farm Bill Extension Measure (going through to the end of September 2013) slashed essential organic programmes including organic data collection. Several technical legislative fixes are required in order for the organic industry to even have the option of pursuing an ORPP.000 U. Thus. we believe we will cross that finish line.S. even though the studies cited actually revealed numerous benefits associated with organic agriculture and products. The severe drought led USDA to designate approximately 2. It is evident that there is a need for additional research into organic agriculture and more consumer education about the benefits of organic food and farming.719 additional U. The eleventh hour deal also prevented farmers and ranchers from being able to improve soil and water conservation through enrolling in the Conservation Stewardship Program in 2013. counties The U. and educate consumers about the wide range of benefits of purchasing organic products. These derogations allowed organic farmers in these designated disaster counties to supply just 15 per cent of their dry matter intake (on average) from certified organic pasture for the remainder of 2012. The OTA hailed the report as a major milestone for the organic sector and confirmation of the significance of the benefits of organic food. Smaller. During 2012. for U. a clinical report published online in October by the American Academy of Pediatrics highlighted the many attributes of organic foods and provided guidance to parents confused by conflicting marketing messages about making healthy food choices for their children. While this passage brought general taxpayer relief. targeted programmes that invest in proven strategies to create rural jobs. a review article published in September in the Annals of Internal Medicine by Stanford University researchers confirmed that consuming organic foods reduces consumers’ exposure to pesticide residues and to bacteria resistant to antibiotics. as it covers a wide range of commodities.“An audacious goal…” USDA’s strategic plan aims to have 2.

In the past few months Judith has introduced several changes to herd compositions and water supply. a combined flock of sheep and herd of cattle. Since then Judith has been running the farm on her own. with four permanent employees. This article describes the operation until 2012. each of whom is responsible for managing one of the four ‘flerds’. focussing on Ekkehard Külbs. with his wife Judith Isele joining the 14 2-2013 | ECOLOGY & FARMING . monitoring and management processes described below. In January 2013 Ekkehard sadly passed away after an accident. but all these changes are based upon the planning.The efficiency of low input livestock farming Springbockvley Farm. Animals and Infrastructure – imitating nature A year after taking over the farm Ekkehard started to implement the principles of Holistic Management. Judith Isele & Wiebke Volkmann E kkehard Külbs took over the farming business from his parents in 1989. Namibia running of the farm in 2004.

allowing a higher livestock density Springbockvley Farm is located 180 km southeast of the Namibian capital Windhoek. with some shrubs and trees. mainly covered with open grassland. it covers 9. but in almost completely flat countryside. although this has varied between 70 mm and 680 mm in the last seven years.Country profile The grazing and watering habits commnent of the sheep and cows are complementary.500 hectares of predominantly red sand and partially limestone soils. Situated on the western edge of the Kalahari dune landscape. The long-term average annual rainfall at Springbockvley is 260 mm. ECOLOGY & FARMING | 2-2013 15 .

16 2-2013 | ECOLOGY & FARMING This is partly because of the very low species diversity of the grasses: only two relatively narrow leaved species (the perennial stipagrostis uniplumis and the annual schmidtia kalahariensis) make up 90% of the grasses. 100 oryx and varying numbers of kudu and warthog also graze on Springbockvley. each cell and ultimately on the entire farm. the amount and quality of available forage is assessed by taking two to three samples in each camp using what is known as the STAC method. cape foxes. steenbok.the financial and grazing aspects. which visualises the area necessary to provide one cow with sufficient feed for one day. Despite much emphasis on grazing The main strategy is to select cattle and sheep that thrive under the prevailing circumstances. In planning this rotation he took into account the nutritional needs of the animals at different times of the year so as to optimise their condition and production. The 40 mm plastic pipes are buried into the Kalahari sand and are almost maintenance free. In addition there are also duiker. The latter are seen as a threat by sheep farmers. Despite such measures the farm accepts losing approximately 5% of its sheep to this predator each year. there is probably some newly-grown forage in the camps as well as left-overs from the first one: There will be pods and leaves that have dropped. which is done to rest the camps after grazing by the livestock. Assessment and Planning – producing peace of mind At the beginning of the dry season after the growth has stopped. 11 camps close to the farmyard are grazed by a smaller ‘flerd’ of around 500 sheep and 100 cattle. The average grazing period in the growing season is between four and six days per camp. (containing up to 2000 sheep and 300 cattle). the main strategy to improve the farm’s profitability is to select cattle and sheep that thrive under the prevailing circumstances (rather than giving in to the ever-present temptation to ‘buy better genes’). and new shoots on perennial grasses or new leaves on the bush after winter. Now there are three big cells of 16 to 17 camps each. The moves are designed to optimise the performance of the rumen’s digestive flora and to avoid the animals having to adjust to new conditions every time they move to a new camp. This method is quite time consuming as it takes the best part of two to three . The farm has 17 water points (reservoirs and troughs) each of which serves 4 – 5 camps. they are trapped and killed. The water gravitates along approximately 25 km of pipeline from the central reservoirs at the boreholes to the other water points. The diversity and nutritional value of the grazing on Springbockvley are closely inter-related with the condition and production capability of its animals. Hence. provided there is fast growth. bat-eared fox and other small animals. Judith feels confident enough to build the entire animal production plan for the rest of the year on this early assessment. Alongside the cattle and sheep. These calculations can be cross-checked using the ‘square estimation’. aardwolf. two rounds must be done between each rainy season in the non-growing season. There are 7 boreholes (5 – 25 m deep). Livestock and Vegetation – combining needs At the present time the limiting growth factor is the ability of the animals to perform on the resources available on the farm. the caracal and black-backed jackals. The animals and grazing have developed together. the current practice keeps losses down to an acceptable level. The results from the samples are calculated into the total forage available in each camp. so grazing can only be improved together with and through the animals that live on it – and vice versa. and readily pass through the camp gates that are open whenever the camps are not occupied by the livestock. following a time plan based around the quantity and quality of fodder available in each area or ‘camp’ as well as considering the time that plants need to recover after having been grazed. This gives a fair indication of the amount of grazing available and the condition of the soil. They now roam freely. So the animals get fresh grazing every 10 to 12 days for almost six months. The numbers of oryx and springbuck have increased substantially in the last 10 to 12 years. approximately 350 springbuck. Although it would be preferable to co-exist with jackals. all of which are wind-powered (no engines are used on the farm). Their movements are closely monitored and whenever they come within close range of the sheep. During the second round. They are used for home consumption of venison and occasionally their numbers are controlled by professional hunters. In the fourth cell. Despite this there is still ample pressure on the animals in the flerds to force them to utilise less valuable plant material. as well as predators such as the African wild cat. management over many years. there has still been no evident increase in grass diversity. With the current strategy of rotating through each cell approximately every 180 days. He combined herds and flocks into ‘flerds’ and started to move them around. Oryx sometimes even allow themselves to be moved between camps.

although animal density alone is still not enough to really break down the harder perennial grasses. Springbockvley has almost continually increased its carrying capacity. and occasionally bought small Damara flocks to speed up the replacement process. on average. building on the existing adaptation of the flock. Combining the livestock into four large flerds and keeping them in specified camps for periods means that the animals live at a relatively high density. With the amount of forage assessed. 1996 and 2007) and some drastic temporary de-stocking had to take place. He was not enthusiastic about the Karakul breed and prices for them were constantly declining. another tool employed is to manage the animals’ impact.Country profile days walking in the veld to collect the samples. In 2010 Springbockvley stocked almost 40 kg of live animal mass per hectare in the Kalahari Sandveld. The idea is to build a grazing plan that aims for the livestock ‘to be at the right place for the right reasons at the right time’. which helps build soil cover and humus. On the soft soils of Springbockvley. a non-growing season (including a drought reserve of 300 days) is planned for. being well-adapted to the climatic circumstances and vegetation ECOLOGY & FARMING | 2-2013 17 . Breeding smaller-framed animals In 1989 Ekkehard took over the livestock from his parents: 250 Simmentaler cattle and 3000 Karakul sheep. instilling a herd effect. careful and yet ambitious grazing plan. where they trample the land indiscriminately and with greater force. This stimulates them to eat less selectively and also to be less selective about where they place their hooves. based on the experience that the first growth only occurs at the end of January. increasing the healthy disturbance of the soil. By 2010 he had changed breeds and raised the numbers to about 700 Nguni cattle and 5000 Damara sheep. the sheep do tremendous work. This means they trample down more brittle plant matter. and are closer to each other while grazing and walking to the water point. In addition to a detailed. 160 hectares large so the density could be calculated as averaging 15 animals per hectare: in reality higher densities occur as the animals are not evenly spread over the whole camp but usually tend to bunch together. By using this plan. not on the type and weight of the animals. even in years when rainfall was less than a third of the average (1995. much more than most farms in the region are able to achieve. This breed fits well with the prevailing system. This trampling effect critically depends on the amount of hooves per hectare. Over twenty-five years he converted his flock to Damara. He soon introduced Damara rams to the Karakul flock. Each camp is. Higher numbers and tighter densities of cattle change the behaviour of the animals. However knowing what to expect early on in the year and seeing the outcomes of all the decisions and processes of earlier actions makes it worthwhile.

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Apart from that they only go through the handling facilities for weighing. hunt springbuck and oryx for fresh and smoke meat or salami. It was also combined with a strict selection of animals from within the herd. They also have good mothering abilities and. This allows for more animals to graze the available land while maintaining the animal’s reproduction and with this an increase of the farm’s productivity and profitability. A low level of technical and financial inputs is involved. A very important part of the sustenance of the sheep (being 60% browsers) are leaves and other parts of bushes. In fact they complement each other very well. and ruminate from late morning until early while the cattle (as grazers) mainly eat more fibrous grass plants and only a small part of the diet that sheep prefer. and ensures that the animals are able to handle the remaining pressure. By farming with these two indigenous breeds – Ngunis and Damaras – Springbockvley achieves remarkable production rates. Namibia. While the sheep come to the water point in early mornings and late afternoons and quickly return into the veld. The electrical power is supplied from an efficient solar system. Much time is spent checking border fences for intrusion by predators and all herds are visited and checked for wellbeing. still has space and fodder for cattle and vice versa. when ticks are causing obvious pain or injury. Since 2000. They are not routinely treated. Namibia HYPERLINK “mailto:wiebke@mweb. branding and ear tagging before being transported (and for branding. annual meat production has averaged 11 kg/ ha (with a maximum of 14. na” wiebke@mweb. The aim is for the farm to be as self sustaining as possible: it relies completely on renewable energies. depending on temperature and moisture) and a return cycle that is never less than 60 days.Country profile available in the area. The goal is to produce meat from the available natural resources with the least possible external inputs. There is almost no handling of the sheep except the regular sorting and tagging three to four times a year.. not only in their daily routines but also in their diet and grazing habits. sufficient water and lick supply at least every second day. All the cattle have to go through the chute once a year for compulsory vaccinations. Judith Isele. they have strong herd instincts and hence function well in large flerds. Holistic Management Certified Educator – Earthwise Enterprise and Training Coordinator – Community Based Rangeland and Livestock Management. as well as herbs and small leaves and spikes of grasses. which breaks the breeding cycles of internal and external parasites. Consequently. Management of the whole – keeping it simple and efficient A big part of daily life at Springbockvley is keeping the feedback loop running. They bake their own bread. cattle and sheep do not bother each other when in the same castrating and dehorning as calves). not only planning for healthy finances and grazing ECOLOGY & FARMING | 2-2013 19 . In 1994 Ekkehard introduced Nguni bulls to the mixed Simmentaler-Afrikaner herd and over the last 15 years the animals have developed into a compact medium-frame crossbreed (see picture).na” iselkuel@iway. All the boreholes are equipped with low-maintenance windmills. much of the routine farming work consists of checking tasks. Springbockvley Farm. but also monitoring and controlling to show where goals are not being met. like the Karakul. The rams are kept in the flock throughout the year. With the sheep the aim is to maintain very low input levels. clear. and efficient as possible. except in individual cases. rest. keeping the ones that appear the healthiest and best-suited to thriving under the prevailing conditions. The grazing management makes this possible. Selection – breeding well-adapted animals The changes shown in figure 1 were not just brought about by changing to smaller indigenous breeds. Before buying a product they consciously ask themselves if it is really necessary. Ekkehard and Judith have followed the dictum that ‘maintaining income while controlling costs produces profit’ in their personal lives and farming business. Minimal supplements are provided and the sheep get no licks at all (the design of the cattle lick troughs make them inaccessible to the sheep). the cattle characteristically hang around the water point to drink. HYPERLINK “mailto:iselkuel@iway.8 kg/ha in 2003) – in a country where 10kg/ha is considered good or very good. Apart from the high time input in these management tasks. as the short stays in each camp (not longer than 5 to 14 Wiebke Volkmann. The farm has been able to continually increase its income while keeping expenses almost stable. Judith processes milk from their cows into yoghurt and different cheeses. Even with larger flerds and higher animal densities. worthwhile and what its benefits? This approach combined with all the management factors discussed above means that Springbockvley’s farming business is highly profitable. The sheep meet their mineral requirements by browsing bush components Animal handling – reducing frequency and stress Springbockvley keeps working the animals in kraals or in the chute to a minimum. Livestock Farmer. Since the year 2000 the farm’s expenses have accounted for one third or less of turnover. This means that a camp that would be considered as being fully stocked by sheep. The garden supplies a variety of vegetables and fruits that are consumed fresh or preserved for the rest of the year. The first priority in the cattle selection process is high and early fertility – meaning every cow has to give birth within its first two and a half years and every year thereafter. the setup on the whole farm is deliberately kept as simple.

Cocoa is predominantly a smallholders’ crop. 20 2-2013 | ECOLOGY & FARMING . Cameroon. which provides lower yields. It provides a means of livelihood for up to 40 million people.5 million hectares. Ghana and Nigeria. It is mainly grown within 10 degrees of the equator and production is heavily concentrated in the West African countries of the Ivory Coast. It is estimated that some five million farming families around the world grow cocoa on 7.By Peter Brul & Bo van Elzakker Cocoa Where does your chocolate come from? Cocoa is the basis for one of the world’s most popular treats: chocolate. The fruit is harvested twice a year in the form of a main crop and a mid-crop.

000 tonnes (circa 1% of the total) in 2011. The challenge is to start larger programmes using more sustainable production systems such as organic and agroecological ones. In the year 2000 11. this method is only suitable for hybrid plants that require the application of agrochemicals. Certified organic production continued to grow to more than 45. However. maintaining soil fertility. Overall. markets in the USA and Europe. By contrast.680 tonnes of certified organic cocoa was produced in 13 countries. protect the natural pollinators of cocoa and the natural predators of its pests. con- stantly monitors the world cocoa market. Unfortunately this often leads to introducing short cycle hybrid crops without shade trees and using more artificial fertilisers and pesticides. Every month. an organic agro-forestry system can be productive over a very long period of time. and create beneficial microclimates and biological corridors that maintain biodiversity and the stability of ecosystems. Modern cocoa farming does not use shade trees. green manure and other measures).org). In contrast to this. In 2011. ECOLOGY & FARMING | 2-2013 21 I n 2010 global cocoa production was around 4. . which is based in the UK. However. the volumes of certified cocoa grown do not equal the volumes sold. farmers have been growing cocoa in a kind of shifting cultivation. Sustainable cocoa production has often been rather neglected: ICCO. It appears that the world has reached ‘Peak Cocoa’.icco. Large chocolate companies such as Mars. Production is stagnant. Any findings resulting from studies and analyses are subsequently translated into recommendations and action Cocoa. Consumption is increasing and there are hardly any rainforests left to cut down.000 tonnes. which means a further loss of biodiversity and a negative impact on the environment. together with longer-term trends and forecasts. organic chocolate posted almost 20% growth in the USA. milk chocolate may contain just 25% cocoa with the rest consisting of sugar and milk powder. It appears that the world has reached ‘Peak Cocoa’. Current cocoa production needs to be more productive and to become sustainable. recycling. Such agroforestry systems conserve the habitats of plant and animal species. Growing cocoa in full sun leads to more weeds that require pesticides. This growth rate is far beyond average growth within the global organic sector. cutting down forests to open up new fields once the old field becomes tired. At the end of the day it is questionable whether it is the farmers who profit from the improved yield. Besides organic. there is also Fair Trade. Nestlé and Kraft are trying to work with governments. Altogether certified sustainable cocoa production was around 275. but strangely not in the main cocoa producing area of West Africa. compaction and water contamination. cocoa boards and farmas this improves yields in the short-term. Shade trees in an agro-forestry system should include species of economic value. These include initiatives to work in co-operation with governments in cocoa producing countries to improve the provision of cocoa market information to smallholder cocoa farmers (www. Rainforest Alliance and Utz Certified cocoa. which runs at more than 10% per year. or other stakeholders further up the chain. However. By 2011 world production had increased to around 45. is best cultivated under the shade of native canopy trees in a landscape that mimics the natural forest. Organic chocolate has increased in popularity during the last ten years and is now manufactured by several producers and available in health food shops and super- (composting. in many countries. plans. It also increases erosion and run-off. producing timber or fruits. In the last five years there has been a change in ICCO The International Cocoa Organisation (ICCO). The organic chocolate market also shows a trend towards purer chocolate.3 million tonnes (ICCO). cooperatives and small farmers have not invested enough in nurseries. It was around this time that the first organic cocoa projects got off the ground in Africa. In these modern systems the fields are generally abandoned after 30 years because of soil degradation. the cocoa boards. it reviews recent market developments. A large part of that is not only certified organic but also Fair Trade labelled. the global market for organic chocolate products was probably worth a little less than US$ 1 billion in 2012. like coffee. provided that farmers are trained in improving soil fertility ers’ cooperatives to improve production. with a higher cocoa content (up to 70%). renewing the trees and increasing the diversity of valuable crops. and certainly not in the ecosystem in which cocoa thrives.000 tonnes in 2010 and the certified market share almost doubled from 3% to nearly 6% between 2009 and 2010. replanting.

The four leading companies in Europe are Pronatec and Barry Callebaut (both Swiss).000 Farmers finding markets A study in 2011 identified 27 different organic cocoa projects in nine African countries. The increased exposure of the practice and consumer disgust at this has prompted action. Newman’s. 22 2-2013 | ECOLOGY & FARMING the produce as conventional. Van Hall Larenstein-Wageningen / AgroEco-LBI. another four were added to this list. In January 2013. Go and get it! . Other benefits for certified producer organisations are better capacity building and market access”. Although there are problems. Rapunzel. so sold Child labour and cocoa In 2000.Table 1: Volumes certified (tonnes) 2010 Fair trade Rain forest Utz Organic 106. butter and powder.000 children between the ages of nine and twelve had been sold into forced labour on cotton. Tcho. In this case. it may be difficult to find a suitable buyer or to communicate in the international market place.000 45.000 42. Green & Black’s. Its goal is to create a certification and traceability programme for socially and environmentally responsible cocoa production that meets the needs of both producers and markets. however. They joined Fair Trade first. From: ‘A survey of certified organic cocoa in Africa and an analysis of the problems and opportunities in the export market’.000 214. RA standards are much stricter in prescribing fair employment conditions and nature conservation measures (including buffer zones and shade trees) than organic standards. which include social criteria.S. Other projects have been developed and perhaps exported once or twice but could not maintain themselves. UTZ certified is a sustainability labelling organisation based in the Netherlands that mainly works for and with the large market players. the International Cocoa Organisation (ICCO) reported: “Most Fair Trade producer organisations in Latin America are also certified as organic. A cost-benefit analysis by KPMG in 2012 showed that incomes from certified producers are much higher than in noncertified production. ICAM in Italy is the largest organic chocolate maker. When the New York price is higher than $1600. Valrhona and Vivani. they converted to organic production. butter and liquor. It started off with coffee and now works in cocoa for key industry members such as Mars.000 70. environmental sustainability was added as another major issue.400 56. producing chocolate for major European brands. Several different sustainability programmes for cocoa have since been established. and Callebaut working in Tanzania. (a Dutch based daughter of Sunopta). such as the French company Koaka which operates in Sao Tome and Madagascar. worked on their businesses and once they reached a certain level of organisational development. the potential is definitely there. coffee and cocoa plantations in the Ivory Coast. Synchronising supply and demand is often difficult. Tradin plans to open a new cocoa grinding facility in the Netherlands in mid-2013. some organic buyers insist on the combination of organic with RA as this is a better guarantee of social and environmental sustainability. Often organic retailers have their own brands of organic chocolate. by Niyi Olabiran. 2011. or there is insufficient access to trade finance. The presence of child labour forced the conservative cocoa sector to open up to consumer concerns. A little later. Interestingly. Dagoba. Cocoa production under the Rainforest Alliance (RA) is increasing in Latin America and West Africa. such as cocoa powder. the U. Theo. This facility will specialise in processing certified cocoa beans into derivatives. Beans from these projects are not sold on the international market but are sold in processed form. they used the Fair Trade premium funds to invest in the infrastructure and fees needed for organic certification. Such projects may fail for a variety of reasons: donor funding can run out. There are FLO (Fair Trade) certified cocoa producer associations in 12 countries. Some of these pro- jects have been in existence for ten years or more. State Department reported that as many as 15. In 2013. Some projects have had organic beans available at harvest but did not find an organic buyer. the Fair Trade price is the New York price + $150. These certification programmes are an improvement but do they guarantee long-term sustainability? Does organic certification provide that guarantee? The market for organic cocoa beans is dominated by a few companies. Mapryser (Spanish) and Tradin Organic. Callebaut.500 2011 150. In many countries organic chocolate can also be ordered through the internet. the Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone. The investment in a new factory is a clear sign that there is a bright future for these products. These traders deliver cocoa liquor. Nestlé and Heinz. Their production levels are low but increasing. only to be approached by an organic buyer some months later. and other ingredients to different organic chocolate makers such as Blanxart.000 98. The Fair Trade minimum price is $1600/tonne + $150 premium.

• Coconut Oil from Indonesia. • The Seeds and Pulses from China. Fruit project Serbia bringing well-being to life www. Bulgaria. Pulses and Grains / Cocoa products / Juices. • Frozen Fruit from Serbia and .Organic Raw Materials – The Safer Choice Consumers expect a lot from Organic products: health. to the harvesting and further processing or refining Tradin is present. and Fair Trade concerns are at our top priority. We can organize. • Orange Juice and Pink Grapefruit Juice from Mexico. Food producers therefore need appropriate organic raw materials and Tradin Organic Agriculture BV provides these: certified. • Vietnam’s Cashews. control and manage all part of our supply chain. Over the years Tradin has initiated a number of own projects. Indonesia. From the cultivation. These projects do not only supply safer raw materials. well-being and environmental friendliness. Pakistan. coming from well established packers and processors: Dried Fruits and Nuts / Seeds. we can provide a full traceability report to each of our customers for each products. • Iranian Raisins. allowing us to meet the expectations of our customers. Beyond the organic agricultural techniques. Purees and Concentrates / Sweeteners / Fats and Oils / Frozen Fruit and more. Therefore. safety. all these characteristics have been embraced into our daily operations to provide the best possible social organic products with the smallest environmental impact... controlled. but also they are exemplary and have a positive spill-off effect in their regions. These projects are the backbone of Tradin’s trade activities: • Sesame and Green Coffee from Ethiopia. • Original Basmati Rice from Pakistan. A wide range of products is being imported from over 36 countries all over the world. Pineapples and Passion fruit. Iran. Tradin BV – Your source for organic raw materials Cocoa project Philippines Project Vietnam Sesame project Ethiopia Orange project Mexico More projects in China. analysed organic raw materials. info@tradinorganic. CO2 footprint. • Cocoa and Banana Chips from the Philippines.

SOS The Global Seed Alliance Bernward Geier .

Most people are still unaware ers from reproducing seed and threatens future food security. The development of hybrids. This has been accompanied by a rapid erosion of both seed diversity and seed independence. from patents that transform seed from a public good to a commodity that is controlled by multinational corporations. however. These people think within a global context but act locally. This could erode fundamental freedoms. farmers have practised seed production and we owe them a debt of gratitude for the enormous crop diversity they have generated. there have been an estimated 250. Until now. there has been no global alliance to develop synergy between these activists. In the last 20 years. hijacking the world’s seed supply. This is a unique work of over ECOLOGY & FARMING | 2-2013 25 . SEED IN NEED For thousands of years.agro biodiversity Crops and seeds are not only a source of life. The main victims are peasants ‘Since the introduction of GM cotton into India. After the Second World and farmers who are increasingly losing the diversity of their seeds and becoming enslaved by these multinational corporations and moneylenders. The companies that have so successfully brought seeds under their control are mainly those who originally benefited from the war industry. and millions of seed multipliers and defenders who are committed to defending seed freedom. Farmers’ reproduction of their own seed material is crucial to preserving biodiversity. To fill this gap the Global Seed Alliance was formed last year under the leadership of the Indian activist and eco-feminist Vandana Shiva. enables them to maintain their independence and guarantees the voluntary (and often free) exchange of seeds. there have been an estimated 250. But now seed freedom is under extreme threat from new technologies. and are now becoming ‘bio-pirates’. winner of the Right Livelihood Award (the ‘alternative’ Nobel Prize).000 suicides by cotton-producing farmers who fell hopelessly into debt’ the help of Navdanya and many friends around the world she has published a global citizens’ report entitled ‘Seed Freedom’. With of this development towards a seed dictatorship and do not realise what disastrous consequences it could have.000 suicides by cotton-producing farmers who fell hopelessly into debt as a result of buying patented genetically engineered seeds from Monsanto. T his is a dangerous threat to our food security. India has been one of the hardest hit countries. They are also a fundamental precondition for our being. there are hundreds of organisations and institutions. actions by seed growers and multipliers and in peoples’ fields and gardens. The Freedom to Save and Sow Seeds Worldwide. such as genetic manipulation and in particular. there has been a tremendous concentration of the control of seeds by a handful of multinational corporations. Here the resistance not only involves political action and lobbying but also. Since the introduction of GM cotton into India. and perhaps most importantly. Fortunately the threat has mobilised resistance. sterile seeds and genetic engineering in particular prevents farmWar they evolved into the agricultural chemical industry.

drew up a fascinating report of ‘In October 2012 160 actions and activities to liberate seed were held all over the world’. IFOAM contributed to the seed report and many of the initiatives discussed are from the organic movement. There are inspiring reports compiled by seed savers and growers from each continent. In the two weeks between Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday (2nd October) and World Food Day (the 16th October) 2012. The first step that any individual can take here is to sign the Global Seed Alliance’s ‘Declaration on Seed Freedom’. What we don’t buy will not be seeded and grown. THE NEW SEED ALLIANCE Activists of the seed movement have been well connected. The organic movement should play an active role in this new alliance. Organic agriculture has a very specific interest and need for free seeds and has also developed a lot of solutions. is urgently needed to resist the machina26 2-2013 | ECOLOGY & FARMING in the food chain. . Priority must be given to informing people. The target is to get one million signatures for the Declaration. as well as wonderful poems. These reports look at past initiatives. Although the ‘Let’s liberate diversity’ movement has existed in Europe since 2005 until now there has been no global network to unite seed growers and multipliers and political activists and defenders of seed freedom. tions of the multinational seed corporations. In addition to our consumer behaviour there is also the need to change the political framework and to abolish exploitative seed laws. If all members and supporters of IFOAM members and associates were to sign this and encourage organic consumers to do so. best practice.navdanya. org. including a large report on the subject of genetic engineering ‘The genetic engineering emperor wears no clothes’. The complete report can be downloaded from Navdanya’s website: www.320 pages.navdanya. there are plans for a much larger signal of resistance in the same two weeks this year. crucial link. which has the potential to generate synergies. Humberto Rios from Cuba. which highlights the alarming threat to seed freedom. Companies such as Monsanto have multi-million dollar budgets: it is therefore better to coordinate resistance Organic agriculture is a central pillar in the struggle for seed freedom. Consumers are the last. and how it is possible to create a future full of diversity. They ranged from the exchange of seed at free markets to actions of civil disobedience that followed in the spirit of Gandhi. The study was supported by more than 100 organisations. fully support its political struggle and share the solutions we have developed. You can sign the declaration on www. The publication of the Seed Report was timed to coincide with the launch of the Global Seed Alliance and its first globally coordinated Such international cooperation. about the ‘state of emergency’ concerning seeds. a finalist in the 2012 One World Award. institutions and networks who were involved in creating it. showing how diverse resistance is and how people from all around the world are engaged in fighting to liberate the planet’s seed stock. GET PERSONALLY ACTIVE The Seed Alliance needs the commitment of many individuals. but focus on what is happening now. 160 actions and activities to liberate seed were held all over the world. Seed is the first link in a way that empowers the millions of The report is illustrated with beautiful photos and paintings that show how diverse the existing alternatives already are. this would have a huge impact. This book is a feast for the eyes with beautiful drawings and paintings. Bernward Geier b. controlled by human communities instead of a future dominated by monocultures and monopolies. It provides a necessary wake-up call by drawing together a wealth of existing information. but above all the political leaders. The ultimate objective is the ambitious target of abolishing unlawful instruments that patent seeds and laws that criminalise the reproduction of seed. With the rapid increase in the Seed Alliance’s organisational capacity and ongoing people who are already active. but mainly at national level.

but above all the political leaders.agro biodiversity Priority must be given to informing people. about the ‘state of emergency’ concerning seeds. .

28 2-2013 | ECOLOGY & FARMING .

Photo impression Doug Tompkin’s Laguna Blanca in Argentina: “A good farm is a beautiful farm” ECOLOGY & FARMING | 2-2013 29 .

photo description Rob Sexton Signs of revival 30 2-2013 | ECOLOGY & FARMING .

Since 2008. The youngest category of shoppers (under 28 years of age) spent more on organic food in 2012 than in previous years. and uniquely without any gov- ernment support at all. This labelling scheme covers schools. Yet the UK organic market faces very different challenges than most other similarly placed countries. hospitals. Young shoppers are leading the way. Belatedly. organic food.6% in 2012. at silver and gold levels.64 billion – still the third largest organic market in Europe. Dedicated organic grocery stores saw a growth of up to 10%. It shows that current sales patterns are improving and the decline in the UK market is rapidly slowing. that in a year that the UK re-entered recession. the organic catering market is beginning to develop in the UK. behind Germany and France. Online and box scheme sales grew by 4. The 2013 Organic Market Report highlights some significant new trends and predicts that the UK organic market should soon bounce back. Globally the market is dominated by the USA. which accounts for 44% of global sales. In 2012 ethically aware consumers under 35 significantly increased their average spend on organic products. compared with the rest of Europe.Country profile The UK’s organic market has been in sharp decline since the start of the global financial crisis. the UK market was valued at £2. and there is much to discuss. which certifies caterers who use healthy. global sales have risen by 25. Organic catering and restaurant sales rose by 1. sustainable eating at the top of the catering agenda. The Soil Association’s Food for Life Catering Mark is filling the gap left by the UK government’s procurement policies.1 billion and had been growing at over 10% per year for the past decade. Over 140 million meals are now part of this award scheme. In 2008. despite a general tendency to eat out less often in tough economic times. While UK organic sales have fallen by 22% since 2008. The catering sector is also opening up. It is putting healthy. The UK organic market now stands at £1. Why is the UK market so unusual? What lessons can be learnt? And what does the future hold? The Soil Association’s Organic Market Report 2013 provides a robust assessment of this disturbing trend. fresh. The UK’s organic shoppers are increasingly choosing the convenience and variety offered by ket. nurseries. seasonal and.5%. online shopping and specialist stores The UK market is dominated by multiple retailers over the inconvenience and frustration of finding more limited ranges and stock at many supermarkets. ECOLOGY & FARMING | 2-2013 31 . These patterns show a positive future for the UK organic mar- Online and independent.4% and independent store sales grew by nearly 1%. Sales in 2012 experienced a slight dip of 1. the market has fallen every single year – bucking the trend in organic markets almost everywhere else in the world. universities. care homes and workplaces. This is a new trend that we have noticed in the last two years and its scale is growing: specific examples include the 15% growth in sales to students at Planet Organic stores. despite inaction from the UK government (although an honourable exception should be made for the Scottish Parliament).1%.

but we are increasingly confident that it will do so in the near future.The UK market is dominated by multiple retailers The UK grocery market is unique in the extent to which it is dominated by a small number of large retailers – the ‘big four’ account for over 80% of all grocery sales. the enthusiasm of young shoppers and the long-overdue questions being asked about our reliance on cheap. such as eggs. organic sales declined. Elsewhere in Europe the situation is markedly different. who have been backing the organic sector strongly through a combination of environmentally-based producer support. for example. but when the first recession hit in 2008. although organic brands grew by Sales of organic products in the EU have increased by more than 25% since the start of the global economic downturn in 2008. This has triggered disproportionate cuts in the production of some commodities.2% in 2012. It is important for retailers to work more closely than ever with their organic suppliers to ensure higher farmgate prices. to 2nd from The Soil Association’s Organic Market Report 2013 report can be found at http://www. Despite relative neglect from policy makers and some super- Our government is out of step markets. Organic sales now account for 5% of their total sales and continue to grow year on year. due to the success of specialist retailers. 32 2-2013 | ECOLOGY & FARMING . E-mail rsexton@Soilassociation. forward planning and decent forward contracts. Our government has much to learn from its European counterparts. firm targets for public sector procurement of organic food and investment in the promotion of organic products. the Danish organic action plan target is 60% organic food in all public canteens.soilassociation. This is a pretty damning statistic. causing supply challenges. reducing the availability for shoppers who wanted to carry on buying organic. Rob Sexton is Chief Executive of the Soil Association Certification Ltd. They claim that they only stock products that people want to buy. low-quality. This is the biggest difference we have seen and it is fair to say that the decline in retailer own label organic products is single-handedly responsible for keeping the UK organic market in a state of decline. they made sweeping reductions in organic ranges. Sales of organic own label products fell by 11. Supply shortages threaten growth Several supermarkets turned their predictions of falling demand for organic food into a self-fulfilling prophecy by dramatically cutting back on organic ranges and shelf space. the UK has fallen from Our government is out of step 2nd in the league table of government support for organic food and farming. In the last 10 years.2%. The lack of investment in organic ranges is most marked when looking at own label organic sales at the major retailers. It is difficult to anticipate precisely when the UK organic market will return to growth. there is much cause for optimism. leading to a self-fulfilling prophecy. and increased their range of economy products. untraceable food (especially in the wake of the horsemeat scandal). Waitrose has been a notable exception and has continued to invest in organic products. Not surprisingly with less available choice. all of which are needed to restore producer confidence and safeguard future supplies.

the message itself is rather complicated as it touches so many aspects it can be difficult for the consumer to follow the debate and make up his or her mind.JOSEF FINKE Markets opinion Developing a Communication Strategy for the Organic Sector Vested interests from the agrichemical and global food industries have identified organic food and farming as the major obstacle to achieving their goals of more control over the food sector. the issue of food quality and environmental impact only concerns a section of our society (estimated at around 25%). opinion leaders or new scientific research results. It also needs to be remembered that the organic message is not static. it evolves. I n the past the organic sector has had only limited success in getting its message across to the consumer. Firstly. ---> ECOLOGY & FARMING | 2-2013 33 . Secondly. and influenced by food scandals. Food produced without synthetic fertilisers and pesticides are the main criteria that consumers recall when asked about organic food. is shaped by events.

Whereas serious scientists work thoroughly. have developed the following strategy. . The past shows that every argument will be followed by a counter argument. This common sense element must be brought back into the debate. The message can also be shaped by designing research in a way that guarantees the desired outcome. This will then be replaced by another ‘scientific’ statement and the whole game starts again. In today’s world we are used to believing in and following scientifically based information and knowledge. that their job has been done: the message has been delivered and made consumers insecure. romantics. understandable by everyone. orchestrated by vested interests in the US. Now consumers find themselves increasingly exposed to a situation where any positive claims about organic food are immediately contradicted by ‘credible’ scientists and they 34 2-2013 | ECOLOGY & FARMING . elitist or too affluent. which. 3 They shape the message by starting with research results from recognised universities. professors. 4 This strategy is complimented by attempts from a biased sector of the ‘scientific community’. hopeless idealists. do not see the Machiavellian strategy behind it. academics. throw out statements that are biased and not backed by proper science. They know. organic farming cannot feed the world) must be matched by our own mantras. and always has been an issue for concerned farmers and citizens. plays down the harmful role and effects of pesticides.> This is their strategy 1 Science is the chosen route  providing the basis for their message. ‘reputable’ journalists and other ‘experts’.On the basis of this scenario industries. which has been confirmed by the Cornucopia Institute in the US and follows the same patterns as the campaign to discredit those who warn about climate change. The result is that consumers. heads-in the-clouds. using the same flawed methods. The latter strategy has been so ‘successful’ that no statement is published in the US media without being followed by a contrasting statement from the climate change deniers. the messenger becomes a decisive part of the message. It puts the ball firmly back into the court of the consumer. synthetic fertilisers and food additives in conventional agriculture and food. down to earth and leaves no room for arguing. On this basis they have selected scientists. Common sense is simple. Reliance on academic messengers has taken the issue of organic farming away from farmers and citizens. A better communication strategy with the consumer is to leave the academic debate to academics and to focus consumer communication around a ‘common sense’ position. yesterday’s men. allowing him or her to make a judgement and form an opinion.. The mantras of the industry opposed to organic farming (e. This is wrong. working for vested interests. It will take more time again for the serious scientists to prove that their claims were wrong. 5 At the same time the organic sector is discredited by portraying its representatives as dreamers. using flawed research methods. The following (next page) is an example of what this could look like. Where does this leave the organic community? Entering the academic debate trying to counteract this cannot be the solution. these ‘bought’ scientists. with peer-reviews to back up their statements. credibility and authority are chosen as messengers. It seems that today only scientists are qualified to have an opinion about organic farming. not for today’s world. incompetent scientists. Organic food and farming is. When the message exceeds the understanding of the consumer. once their position is out in the public realm. 2 High profile people with an unquestioned level of competence.. But at the same time it forms a back drop and reassures organic producers who can use this for their own communications. and the mantras must be simple. now confused by these statements take a step back and their belief in organic food and farming has been replaced by uncertainty. The aim is to confuse consumers and make them doubt the benefits of organic farming and food. representing vested interests.g. Unfortunately the organic debate has become quite removed from its origins. No consumer of course knows that these messengers are being paid to deliver the message. taking fragments of this research out of context and presenting them in isolation so as to show organic food and farming in a negative light. We must remember that this is about forming a perception among the general public. Eventually the consumer switches off and stops listening to the debate.

mood swings and a range of allergies never before witnessed. which means that. Now researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have found an association with food allergies). Tipperary. 4 A farming system which protects bio-diversity is better than one that leads to its continuous decline. The latest victims are bees who are dying from exposure to nicotine based seed dressings. opinion 1 Avoiding food sprayed with pesticides can eliminate several health risks. 7 I don’t have to be concerned about E numbers if these are not in my food (The human body is not equipped to protect itself from most synthetic chemicals and our immune system is not capable of processing or removing these. you are paying the same price as conventional food on a dry matter basis). with artificial additives not being allowed. 80% of all antibiotics produced are now destined for animal feed. It is vital that European organic organisations see and accept the need for a common communication strategy. is 2 A farming system which produces healthy animals is better than mass animal production systems which depend on high levels of medication. (Scientific studies have linked pesticides to autism. naturally-grown tomato is better than a wateredup. diverse food culture is better than an industrial food sector where power is concentrated in ever-fewer hands. fertiliser-pushed tomato. Organic food is the most strictly regulated food sector in Europe and covers not only farming but also processing. We must remain aware that the companies and lobby groups seeking to discredit the organic sector are very well organised internationally and have harmonised strategies.finke@ballybrado. Here is some common sense advice for confused consumers. even at an organic premium of 20%. 3 A tasty. I encourage European organic organisations to 5 A vibrant. (The world is fed by a few inches of top soil. Ireland josef. Josef Finke runs an organic farm in Co. and there is evidence to link all of these changes (at least partially) to synthetic chemicals in food. (Multi Resistant Strains of Antibiotics (MRSA) are the result of irresponsible overuse of antibiotics.Putting common sense into food Consumers are getting increasingly confused. Parkinson’s and. hyper activity. especially in animal feed in conventional farming. (Food diversity is under threat from GM technology which gives patent protection and thereby ultimate control over our food to a small number of profit-driven global companies). As such they will always be ahead of the organic sector as long as it organised at national level. One third of our food depends on pollination through bees). absorbed through ECOLOGY & FARMING | 2-2013 35 . If we want to feed the world of tomorrow the only answer is to sustain the soil – through organic farming). This process should start as soon as possible. team up and get working on this common strategy. Tests of thousands of volunteers have discovered an average of 700 different synthetic chemicals in their bodies. which needs to be protected and cared for. Children today particularly show a lack of concentration. (Large scale industrial farming practices have led to an irreversible decline in bio-diversity. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. (Chemical fertilisers increase the water content in vegetables by an average of 20%. For consumers it is not always easy to know when and where vested interests are involved. 6 A sustainable form of food production is better than industrial farming methods which exploit the soil for short term gains. Just when one scientist states a new finding another scientist comes along and claims the opposite.). Perhaps common sense is a good advisor in this situation. This top soil. aggression. Alzheimer’s Diseases and cancer. What are we going to do when these antibiotics won’t work anymore? And what are the possible consequences for the effectiveness of antibiotics among humans?) being lost in industrial farming at an alarming rate. water and the air.

Calculating the value of organic chains The global market for organic food and non-food production Peter Brul ING bank (not known as the ‘greenest’ of banks) reports that 36 2-2013 | ECOLOGY & FARMING the Dutch organic market is growing faster than the Chinese economy .

Organic farming is regulated by law in the US and Europe. spun and then woven into t-shirts and other products. This is much less the case for the markets for organic textiles (mainly cotton) and cosmetics and wellness products. Turkey and the Middle East are growing strongly. These markets are also quite large and have grown fast over the last ten years. Tanzania. This segment is also not covered by the regulations and there no clear distinction between ‘natural‘ and organic products. China. Inditex (Zara) (Spain). growing from 2. Some large producers consistently use organic ingredients. The consumption of organic products per head is more or less the same in the USA and north-western Europe.000 tons of cotton fibre in 2010-11 on nearly 250. Canada and north-western Europe are net exporters of organic products. Europe and the United States. Turkey. such as Brazil. depending on the fashions of the day. Large textile companies often mix organic and conventional cotton. According to market researcher markets for organic products. Other markets.714 facilities in 2011 to 3. Syria. Inc. but there is no organic label on the packaging. Disney Consumer Products (USA) and the Otto Group (Germany). The number of facilities certified by GOTS increased by 11% in 2012. Russia. and this is an integral part of their corporate identity and their brands. However the relationship between the two is not always straightforward. The countries with the most processing facilities are India (with 1062 certified). United States. Western Europe and North America account for more than 95% of the world market for certified organic foods. ECOLOGY & FARMING | 2-2013 37 . Adidas (Germany).000 hectares of certified land. so the statistical data on acreage and turnover in organic foods are pretty reliable.Markets D espite a recession and difficult economic conditions in the two main Textiles Less than 30 years ago. Market demand in Europe grew by more than 20% for the second year in a row. neem and echinacea. By far the most important market is that for food and beverages. Now there are more than two hundred thousand organic cotton growers around the world and the market is worth approximately €5. India is by far the largest producer of organic cotton. but only make up a small part of the entire market.016 facilities in 2012. China. Peru. Table 1 (based mainly on figures from the Textile Exchange) shows the growth in the global organic textile market over the last five years. The top ten customers of organic cotton through the Textile Exchange are mainly large textile retail chains: H & M (Sweden). They bring the products to the market without organic certification to fulfil their own overall sustainability criteria. Wellness The third significant market segment is for cosmetics. producing just over 100. blue or purple. Egypt and Burkina Faso. Textiles are not regulated under European organic legislation and this almost inevitably means that the data are far less reliable than for foodstuffs. far more improvements come in small steps or are made by the industry’s own environmental labels. Target (USA). cotton is a large consumer of scarce water resources and the processing of cotton (including bleaching and dyeing) involves extremely polluting processes that dye rivers in developing countries red. Nike. Uganda. Turkey (400) and China (252). Almost all countries apart from the US. skin care and widely used natural medicines such as arnica. In Europe as a whole the average was €24 per person. the first certified organic cotton was grown. the market share and volume of organic products has continued to grow in recent years. Only a few of the environmental improvements in the textile industry are associated with certified organic production. Anvil (USA). Organic cotton is grown in 22 countries: the leading ten (in rank order) are India.65 billion. Organic cotton is mainly certified through the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). In addition to organic cotton there is a range of environmental and sustainability labels for cotton. but in Denmark and Switzerland it was more than €130. (USA). Conventional cotton cultivation involves intensive pesticide use. around €57 per person in 2011. The world’s organic market is made up of a number of segments. Green Source (USA). The worldwide acreage of organic land is also growing. C & A (Belgium). The textiles industry is also under considerable pressure to significantly reduce pollution.

However there is a huge difference between intensive production in countries where the organic markets provides around €1875 for the farmer and around € 27. the total market for natural cosmetics and natural care products. (including organic ones) was 26.Table 1: The global organic textile market in US$ Year Market 2008 $3. the textile one probably not. the global market for organic products was 70 billion dollars In many other regions.4 billion Kline & Company.e. farmers markets and consumer groups. i. 84% of which is accounted for by food and drink.5%.3 billion in 2012.3 billion 2010 $5 billion 2011 $6.S. Only a part (sometimes a small part) of the total production goes into organic export chains. suggesting that the organic market is larger than we generally believe. According to their latest report there were 37 million hectares of certified organic land in 2011 in 162 countries. €160 billion. which make up more than 95% of the world market there is a strong link between production and market value. as this would increase the prices too much without adding much value. Organic cosmetics account for around 3% of the total global market in 2012. it is still a significant market.5% in 2011 and stagnated last year). unless the quality is poor or there is temporary overproduction of certain products.2 billion 2009 $4. 70 billion dollars Taking these three segments into account we can calculate that the global organic market was worth some US$70 billion or €54 billion. a family farm in Ethiopia produces all the food for a large family. Of this. According to the Organic Trade Association’s 2012 Organic Industry Survey the U. organic industry grew by 9. Calculating the value of the organic chain FiBL produce pretty reliable global organic statistical data every year. For example. grown on 47. while the organic non-food sector reached $2. The German natural cosmetics market alone is worth €815 million. But in neighbouring Kenya. This gives a retail value per ha of a little over € 20. probably because of the recession in Europe. In north-western Europe and the USA.2 billion 2012 $7.5 per cent overall in 2011 to reach $31. and will use less than 20% of the land for their cash crop. there is a are strong and low input production in exporting countries.000 retail value (9000 x 800 gram loaves of bread). Organic produce sold on these local markets is generally not certified by third party certifiers. twice the size it was in 2005. This is about 12% of the total market of €210 billion.5 billion in sales. the organic food and beverage sector was valued at $27.4 billion. One hectare of organic land thus represents a retail value of almost $1900. Virtually all organic produce is sold as certified organic products. The organic food market is still growing. Some segments are still hidden In 2011. because of lower yields in India and the cosmetics segment is growing slowly. coffee. However with a market share of 6. the Dutch organic market is worth around €750 million. the link between organic production and organic marketing is weak or almost non-existent.000. Sales grew rapidly until 2010 (by 11% in 2010 but only 2. So Dutch production has a retail value of about €1 billion.2 billion. For example. with shops. 38 2-2013 | ECOLOGY & FARMING . So both these forms of organic production and marketing are totally under the statisticians’ radar.400 ha. One hectare of organic wheat small organic market. The domestic market for organic produce is almost non-existent. the sector exports around €550 million worth of produce a year and imports account for €300 million.

The precautionary principle is embodied in IFOAM’s Principle of Care. such as genetic engineering. These pictures (right) are examples of the types of mammary gland tumours (breast cancer) that the scientists found in the rats.’ This concern about artificially transferring genes between kingdoms and species in a way that has never occurred naturally is now being validated by a large body of science. safe and ecologically sound. ‘This principle states that precaution and responsibility are the key concerns in management. Science is necessary to ensure that organic agriculture is healthy. Source: (Seralini et al 2012) ECOLOGY & FARMING | 2-2013 39 . Organic agriculture should prevent significant risks by adopting appropriate technologies and rejecting unpredictable ones. development and technology choices in organic Andre Leu based on Science GMOs were prohibited by the organic sector primarily due to the use of the precautionary principle.

There is strong body of science that shows that subtle changes to gene expression in embryos can cause permanent negative effects in the development of offspring. except for one that had ovarian cancer. The results of the 2 year feeding study show that the current regulatory system for approving GM crops for consumption are inadequate for assessing the effects of eating these foods over a normal lifetime. had lower weights and looked markedly different than the babies of rates that were fed non GMO diets. (Seralini et al 2012). All the non-control females. Similarly a 90 day feeding trial showed no significant differences between the controls and the rats fed the GM maize variety. (Ermakova 2006)  Control   Control  The scientists noted that babies of the rats that were fed GMO diets developed at slower rate. The scientists stated: ‘.5% of all disrupted parameters in males.5 times higher than the controls as well as marked and severe kidney nephropathies (kidney damage) that were also generally 1. The studies covered more that 80% of the GMO varieties that are widely cultivated around the world.5 . Currently. The treated males presented 4 times more large palpable tumours than controls and these occurred up to 600 days earlier. This study was the first 2 year feeding trial conducted on rats designed to see the effects of GM over an animal’s lifetime. The study led by Professor Gilles-Eric Seralini and published in Food and Chemical Toxicology has found that both the GM maize and Roundup acted as endocrine disrupters and resulted in the females dying 2 . The scientists clearly stated that this lack of proper testing protocols is socially unacceptable in terms of consumer health protection. This was not found in embryos whose parents ate natural non-GM soy.3 greater than the controls. A long term feeding study found that rats fed a diet that contains a proportion of GM maize or minute residues of Roundup has resulted in significantly higher increases of cancers. These effects include increased infant mortality. One of the most concerning issues is the negative effects that occur in the offspring of rats and mice that are fed GM diets. This logic has to be Multiple Health Problems Professor Gilles-Eric Séralini and colleagues published a study that reviewed 19 studies of animals fed with GMO soy and corn in the peer reviewed scientific journal Environmental Sciences Europe. Regulatory authorities use a basic chemical analysis of a GM variety and compare this with it closest non GM variety. concentrating 43. The pituitary gland was the second most disabled organ and the sex hormonal balance was modified in females fed with the GMO and Roundup treatments.3 .G MO’s are currently being pushed as the solution to feed the world’s ever growing population. whereas the liver was more specifically disrupted in females (30. A Russian rat study conducted by Dr Irina Ermakova and colleagues found that offspring of rats fed on GM soy had higher levels of mortality than rats fed with non GMO soy.2. (Oliveri 2006)..3 times more than the control animals.the kidneys were particularly affected.8% of all disrupted parameters). Their review found significant levels of negative effects to kidneys and livers in the animals that were fed GMOs. reduced litter sizes and reduced body weights of the offspring. the GM variety is declared as substantially equivalent and suitable for uncontained commercial release. 40 2-2013 | ECOLOGY & FARMING . kidney disease. no regulatory authority requests mandatory chronic animal feeding studies to be performed for edible GMOs. The early stage embryos (4-8 cells) showed a temporary decrease in gene expression. The comparison of the chemical composition of the GM maize used in this study (NK603) revealed no particular difference and consequently it was classified as substantially equivalent. However. developed large mammary tumours almost always more often than and before controls. length of feed trials and the parameters measured are insufficient to evaluate the health problems that are caused by diets of GMOs. The treated males had liver congestions and necrosis that were 2. several studies consisting of 90 day rat feeding trials have been conducted by the biotech industry even though there is no requirement to do this.’ One of the key conclusions is that the current testing methodologies. In experimental trials male and female mice were fed GM soy and then mated. If this chemical composition is much the same.. had mammary hypertrophies (enlarged mammary glands) and in some cases hyperplasia with atypia (nodules in the mammary glands). (Seralini et al 2011) GM Soy has Adverse Effect on the Offspring seriously questioned in the light of the scientific studies that show numerous serious health issues that are connected to the consumption of GMO food.5. liver damage and other negative health effects. The females that were fed either GM maize or non GM maize with minute roundup residues.

 Control group    GM-soy group     Stomach wall non-GMO   Stomach wall GMO  The picture on the left is the stomach wall of a rat that was fed non-GMO potato. The GMO toxin was found in 93%of maternal blood samples and of greater concern in 80%vof fetal blood samples. One of the possible causes for the developmental differences and the lack of fertility in the offspring of mice that are fed GMOs is that several studies have found that GMO diets cause structural changes to the testicles. Ewen and Pusztai 1999) The photo on the left is the offspring from mothers fed natural soy. In the lower right is the GM group. These inflammatory growths are potentially precancerous. found the pesticide toxin from GMO crops in the blood samples of women and their unborn babies. The studies showed that the rats developed potentially precancerous cell growth in the linings of their stomach and intestinal walls. (Pusztai 2002. A study published in the European Journal of Histochemistry found that testicles of mice fed GM soy had altered structures and function which influenced sperm development. These types of inflammatory growths are potentially precancerous and can lead to bowel cancer. this Canadian study should be the cause of great concern amongst Figure 1 ECOLOGY & FARMING | 2-2013 41 .gmo health professionals and regulators to ensure that the GMO  Non-GM soy group   GM-soy group   foods that are currently being consumed are not doing damage to our future generations. (Aris and Leblanc 2011) Given the evidence of the changes to the offspring of animals fed a GMO diet. Reproductive Toxicology. A Canadian study published in the scientific journal. which has become one of the forms of cancer that is increasing in humans. Difficulties with Conception Dr Ermakova and her colleagues found that the mated offspring of the GM group did not conceive. The scientific studies found that the rats that were fed on the GMO developed smaller brains. Picture on right is from a rat that was fed on GM potato. (Vecchio 2004)  Non GMO-fed inestinal wall  GMO-fed inestinal wall  The picture on the left is the intestinal wall of a rat that was fed on non-GMO potato. On the right is the stomach wall of a rat that was fed GM potato. Effect on Mothers and Children The greatest concern for humans is that the toxin from pesticide producing GMOs can be found in bloodstream of women and their unborn children. had partial atrophy of the liver and damage to their immune system. This is a serious concern that needs to be fully investigated with more scientific research. Studies published in the highly respected medical journal The Lancet and in the peer reviewed Journal Nutrition and Health by Dr Arpad Pusztai showed multiple serious problems with rats that were fed GM potatoes. livers and testicles.  Control group    GM-soy group   The GMO group has a significant reduction in average weight.

The company had created two lines of the GM tomato. (Malatesta 2002 b) BT Corn In a study by Monsanto made public because of a lawsuit. There was also a 10% increase in blood sugar and a 50% decrease in immature red blood cells. and decreased kidney weight. its producers. They found that there was a higher rated metabolic activity that suggested that the liver was reacting to a toxic insult. The researchers did an allergic-type test on mice that no other GMO food crop developer had done before. Malatesta 2003). even a doubling of the death rate was not statistically significant. Pusztai 2002) Rat livers     GM Pea In Australia. The latter symptom is typically related to blood pressure problems. Mice fed GM soy for 8 months had a profound drop in the amount of digestive enzymes produced by their pancreas. both with the same gene inserted. kidney beans. They force fed rats the FlavrSavr tomato for 28 days. When they exposed mice to the pesticide proteins from the  Control group   GM soy group  Rats fed GM soy also showed changes in their livers 42 2-2013 | ECOLOGY & FARMING The above photos show that within the nuclei of the liver cells. (Malatesta 2002 a. (Burns 2002. scientists said that the study doesn’t show “a reasonable certainty of no harm. CSIRO researchers took a gene from a kidney bean which produced proteins that acted as a pesticide. 7 of 20 rats developed stomach lesions. One was associated with these   Control group   GM fed  high rates of lesions and deaths. The company voluntarily decided to market the one that was not associated with the rat problems. Another 7 of 40 died within 2 weeks. In fact. (FDA 1993. But the test conducted by the industry was designed so poorly. And it provides a good example of what can go wrong with GMOs. the structure called the nucleoli was also misshapen in the GMfed mice. They also developed increased basophiles which are related to allergies.” The FDA did not block the introduction of the tomato. and inserted it into peas to kill the pea weevil. These included kidney inflammation and kidney lesions. rats fed Bt corn developed signs of liver and kidney toxicity. They did a study with rats but the rats refused to eat the tomato. They expected the same to happen when mice were exposed to the “same” protein produced by the transgene inside the peas. This also provides an example of how the same crop inserted with identical genes. Researchers also found that the liver cells were damaged or misshapen and there was altered gene expression.GMO Soybean Products There are several animal studies that show a range of adverse effects from consuming GM soybean products. it caused no reaction. (Leeson 1996)   Control group   GM fed  FlaverSavr Tomato The first GM crop that was looked at by the US FDA was the The above photos show how the membrane surrounding the nuclei of liver cells was more irregular in the GM-fed mice. twice the number of chickens died. were the only company to give the United States FDA raw feeding study data. may have very different results. Mice livers     FlavrSavr tomato. the amino acid sequence was identical in both proteins as the one produced . engineered to have a longer shelf-life. Seralini 2007) Mice livers   GM Corn When Liberty Link corn was fed to chickens. the other was not. In the documents made public. Calgene. The study showed that they had increased lymphocytes or white blood cells which are part of the immune system indicating a reaction to infection or possibly disease.

They either shoot the genetic material into the target cells. viral. bacteria or viruses. and may be letting deadly allergens on the market. species. The problem is that the potentially deadly GM peas had already passed all the allergy tests that are normally used to get GM foods on the market. genus. family. Viruses and Bacteria belong to separate Kingdoms. the researchers looked very carefully at the protein structure and found that the sugars that had attached to it had a slightly changed pattern. For many years it was extracted from milk and sold as health supplement to help people sleep. fish. plant and other sources. They said it was the slightly changed pattern of the sugars that made the peas harmful. is a failure. Ltryptophan is a common amino acid that is found in milk products. Closely related Families are grouped together under the rank of Order. plus the fact that the disease had three concurrent characteristics. The disease: • Was new with unique symptoms that stood out • It was acute so people went to doctors or hospitals • It came on quickly. Genes are grouped together inside the cell in long strands call chromosomes.. It took years to discover that the epidemic was underway. insert it after weakening the cell ECOLOGY & FARMING | 2-2013 43 . Natural breeding can take place between some species that belong to the same genus and very occasionally between species of different genera. A Japanese company Showa Denko started to produce L-tryptophan from genetically engineering the bacteria. Starting with the highest they are: kingdom. All living things are classified according to a ranking system that starts with species. July 10. animals.’ The Misconceptions The GMO protagonists promote the image that they are only speeding up the natural crossbreeding processes used by farm- ers and breeders for millennia by inserting the new gene with the desired trait directly into the new organisms. Fungi. This becomes a complex construction of transgenes that can come from bacterial. vice chairman of a steering committee for attorneys representing L-tryptophan victims. Closely related species are grouped together under a rank that is called a Genus.000 to fall sick or become permanently disabled was traced to an amino acid health supplement called L-tryptophan. Animals.M. This shows that the regulatory system. N. Plants. suggesting that the peas might create a deadly anaphylactic shock or other types of immune or inflammatory reactions in humans. Researchers use what can be best described as a shotgun approach when they push new genes into a chromosome. The Single Gene Misconception The other great misconception is that researchers are only inserting one new gene. At this stage science is not sophisticated enough to insert a single gene and get it to work. viruses. It required a series of coincidences. To understand why the GMO pea caused the severe allergy problems. This distortion of the facts needs to be corrected. Genetic engineering allows for the transfer of genes between Kingdoms in a way that can never occur naturally. fungi. There are seven ranks. Plants for example do not breed with by both the bean and the pea. To overcome this problem. phylum or division. The state arbitration panel’s order late Monday was the nation’s first damage award against manufacturer Showa Denko Co. so they went to doctors right after taking it According to the Los Angeles Times. It was an immune type response that was very dangerous. plants and animals in ways that do not occur by natural breeding methods. 1991: ‘A Japanese chemical manufacturer was ordered to pay more than $2 million to four people who used L-tryptophan. as practiced.. (Prescott 2005) LTrytophan In the late 1980s an epidemic that killed about 100 Americans and caused another 5-10. a food supplement linked to a rare blood disorder that killed at least 27 people. But the mice developed an inflammatory response to the protein produced in the GM peas. Inserting the Gene Sequence Another misconception is that the gene is neatly inserted into the cell chromosome. Closely related Genera (the plural of genus) are grouped together under the rank of Family. class. bacteria and viruses do not breed in nature. Researchers also insert genes that help them to identify if the new gene is working within the chromosome. The only reason they were stopped was because the crop developer had chosen to use a mice study that had never been used on any other GM food crop. The epidemic was traced back to the L-tryptophan that was produced from the genetically engineered bacteria. To the credit of the CSIRO they discontinued bringing the GMO pea to point where it would be grown commercially. order. scientists have to combine the gene with the desired trait (such as herbicide tolerance or pesticide production) with other genes that will make it work. This is something that has never occurred before and it creates a new frontier with many uncertainties due to science’s limited understanding about genetics. The Natural Breeding Misconception One critical issue is that multiple genes are being transferred across kingdoms and species such as bacteria. said Turner Branch of Albuquerque. However species that belong to different families do not breed and definitely species that belong to different Kingdoms such as plants.

Such recombination may produce viruses that can infect a wider range of hosts or that may be more virulent than the parent viruses. All of these responses are defence mechanisms to overcome attacks by pathogens (disease). The other response is to close over the foreign DNA and deactivate it. rejected or closed over. This will be a major improvement in the safety of GMOs over the current technology. Currently every commercially released GMO plant has antibiotic resistance genes in every cell. Every cell of their bodies contains the active section of a virus. 44 2-2013 | ECOLOGY & FARMING . Several studies have since shown that these antibiotic resistance genes can be transferred to bacteria in as little as two hours after eating genetically modified food. however it does not address the multiplicity of more serious problems.membrane with an electric shock/chemical. They should be banned for this reason alone. It has been shown to occur with the antibiotic resistant super bugs that are now found in many hospitals. Every current GMO plant is part virus. it has been proved that bacteria in the human gut can take up DNA from genetically modified food.’ The Cauliflower Mosaic Virus Promoter (CaMV) When foreign DNA is inserted into organisms. The marker genes are attached to the gene with the desired trait (herbicide resistance as an example) and they are shot into the target cells. or use a modified microorganism such as a virus to infect the target cell with the new genes. The big problem with these plants is that every part of the plant has genes for antibiotic resistance. When organisms detect foreign DNA a whole range of responses.’ According to Dr Mae-Wan Ho of the Institute of Science in Society. Antibiotic Resistance Marker Genes The most common method of discovering if the new gene will work involves using Antibiotic Resistance Marker Genes. These cells are then cultured and an antibiotic is added. creating new virulent transgenic viruses. Horizontal gene transfer is where microorganisms take up genes directly through their cell walls rather than by the normal method of reproduction. London: ‘GM constructs are designed to cross species barriers and to invade genomes. Genetic engineering will accelerate the generation of new viruses and bacteria. Problems with the CaMV There are several problems with the CaMV. The Union of Concerned Scientists states: ‘Recombination can occur between the plant-produced viral genes and closely related genes of incoming viruses. like herbicide resistance. many scientists believe that there is a great risk of horizontal transfer of the viral genetic code from GMO plants into invading viruses. The cells that live have adopted the new genes as they are resistant to the antibiotic. This is the reason why transplant recipients have to take anti-rejection drugs. The CaMV gives the signal that activates or promotes the new gene. Many scientists and medical professionals have expressed concerns about these genes being horizontally transferred into the gut and mouth bacteria of humans and animals eating genetically modified food. They are worried that this could create bacteria that are resistant to the antibiotics needed to cure infections. three things usually happen. It can also be rejected. It ensures that the gene is active so that its desired trait. With billions of these plants now released into the environment. When foreign genes are shot/infected into a cell. These genes come from bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. The problem with these approaches is that the researchers do not know if genes have been inserted into a chromosome and if they have been inserted they do not know where the new genes have landed in any of the chromosomes and if they will work. This gene can be used to select the cell with the desired trait as they fluoresce under an ultraviolet light. works in the new plant. To overcome this. The host organism defends itself by getting rid of the foreign material. In other words. collectively known as the immune system. These are then grown out as plants. New Scientist in July 2002 reported on a scientific experiment that showed that this can happen to bacteria in the human digestive system: for the first time. The most common one is that the foreign DNA is digested to provide energy and building blocks for the cell. Queensland researchers have developed a fluorescent marker gene that comes from a jellyfish. genetic scientists build a construction with a section of the cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV). When the potential danger of this was pointed out to the genetic scientists they dismissed it as impossible. can be activated to repel or destroy the invaders. GM constructs are more likely to transfer horizontally. Either way this means that the target organism will not have the desired trait from the new gene. they tend to be digested.

this being done without more controls (if any) than the only 3-month-long toxicological tests and using only one mammalian species. To do otherwise is to leave a massive problem for future generations.. The result strengthens the idea that the SARS coronavirus might have arisen when an animal and human virus met and swapped genes. April 2003: ‘In a simple overnight experiment. Dr. The CaMV moves from one part of a chromosome to another and activates the new gene next it. Researchers from the John Innes Center. based largely on assumptions. and with a wide assortment of bacteria and viruses. Mae-Wan Ho further states: ‘This CaMV promoter is also known to work for genes all across the living world: in plants. express them in toxic amounts cause hormones and other regulatory functions to be pushed out of balance and cause future chaos in the genetic makeup of plants and animals that we do not understand..’ Lack of Research Many scientists have expressed concern that the current regulatory systems are inadequate in ensuring the safety of GMOs. Mae-Wan Ho warns: ‘The scientists set up guidelines. bacteria. According to Helen Pearson writing in the journal ECOLOGY & FARMING | 2-2013 45 . as we discovered recently in the literature more than 10 years old. Many of the pictures and some of the text comes from a comprehensive GMO presentation by Jeffrey M. Instead of tightening the guidelines. The various forms of the flu are the classic example. They stated: ‘. will greatly increase the probability for genetic recombination. GM constructs are more likely to transfer horizontally. for the promoter of many other viruses. Dr. SARS is a slightly modified common cold virus and is now a seriously fatal disease with the potential for massive epidemics.responsibletechnology. Professor Seralini and his colleague have expressed great concern over the lack of scientific testing for the adverse health effects associated with GMOs.’ (Seralini et al 2011) Conclusion We a looking at a large scale uncontrolled experiment and we do not know the outcomes. UK one of the world’s major biotechnology research centres.that it is unacceptable to submit 500 million Europeans and several billions of consumers worldwide to the new pesticide GM-derived foods or feed. The potential danger is being completely ignored by regulatory authorities. with base sequences similar to the genetic material of many pathogenic bacteria and viruses.. fungi.’ What is most concerning with this is that this viral promoter gene and other GM constructs have escaped into the wild relatives of GMO plants and also contaminated a sizeable proportion of non GMO crops like corn. In other words. Never forget that the scientist who invented DDT received a Noble Prize because of the immense benefits this discovery was supposed to bring to the world. also in frog eggs and human cells. especially since there is growing evidence of concern. Executive Director. researchers transformed a coronavirus that is lethal to cats into one that infects mouse cells by replacing a single gene.. We are still paying the hidden price of a lack of understanding of the long term consequences of this discovery. This means it randomly causes genes within the plant to work in ways that would not occur normally. And there is evidence that such dormant viruses can be reactivated as a result of genetic recombination. bacteria. It is the equivalent of Russian Roulette with DNA. It was only a short time ago these same scientists were saying pollen drift from GMOs would not affect nearby crops and that the horizontal transference of antibiotic resistant genes from GMOs into gut microorganisms was not possible. Mae-Wan Ho sums up the potential dangers of this technology: ‘GM constructs are designed to cross species barriers and to invade genomes. again. Seventy years ago AIDS was restricted to monkeys and didn’t affect humans. canola and soybeans. The GM constructs are already of mixed origins. www. It could lead to all sorts of future problems like making plants that have small amounts of beneficial phyto nutrients. as every geneticist should know. all of which have fallen by the wayside as the result of new scientific findings. Smith. plants and animals without exception. they also lie dormant in the genomes of all organisms. long term peer reviewed science that ensures that there are no risks. Dr. It is able to substitute. That. It does not take a great feat of imagination to see why genetic engineering will accelerate the generation of new viruses and When GMO scientists and researchers are questioned on this the standard reply is that the cauliflower mosaic virus is harmless and doesn’t affect humans. says the study’s lead scientist’ The fact is no scientist can predict what would happen if transgenic viruses and bacteria emerged from GMO plants. in part or in whole. later generations became unstable and variable. Viruses are not only everywhere in the environment. have found that during field trails of GM plants. our regulators have relaxed them as commercial pressures built up. Institute for Responsible Technology. Logic and common sense would state that we need a moratorium on the release of all GMOs anda until there is good quality. Horizontal gene transfer will increase the opportunity for genetic recombination.’ Unstable GM Constructs A serious problem with the CaMV is that it has been proven to be unstable within the chromosomes of GMO plants. Many harmless viruses change into forms that can be serious. with no ongoing research looking at these potential pathogenic transgenic viruses and bacteria. and.

Gunnar Rundgren & Stephanie Wells Table 1: Number of certification bodies per region Grolink. Kolbjörn Örjavik. The Organic Certification Directory 2013 The Organic Standard 2007 8 147 172 47 83 11 468 2008 10 157 177 48 78 11 481 2009 10 164 180 47 76 12 489 2010 12 165 214 51 78 12 532 2011 19 179 213 51 74 13 549 2012 19 222 213 38 72 12 576 Quote quote 2004 Africa Asia Europe Latin America & Caribbean North America Oceania Total 9 91 142 33 97 11 383 2005 7 117 157 43 85 11 420 2006 8 93 160 43 80 11 395 46 2-2013 | ECOLOGY & FARMING . Eva Mattsson.Nuria Alonso.

organicstandard. More information: www. such as cosmetics. This number has declined since 2011. This was open to all citizens interested in organic production in Europe. to be grown in or originate from Canada. This has changed the role and space for private standards for organic production. and while the uptake is still small it is growing. India and Canada. up by 27 from 549 in 2011. This means that processed organic products certified to other standards can still be imported into South Korea throughout 2013. Public Consultation on the EU Regulation The EU is currently immersed in a revision of its organic uae-news/uae-moves-toregulate-organic-foodproduction tem. The Directory lists all the organic certification bodies in the world and can be found at www. farmers have been encouraged to apply the ‘white stork-friendly farming method’. the United States. Equivalency system dominates imports into the EU The new equivalency system introduced in 2012 for accepting imported organic products into the EU now accounts for around 90% of all product acceptances carried out in the importer approval sys- UAE will introduce organic regulation The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has initiated a process to regulate organic production and certification. Nuria Alonso: assignment@organicstandard. Japan. (see Fewer standards and more countries with legislation for organic production Around one hundred countries have either finalised or are working on legislation for organic Stephanie Wells: Canadian Organic Trade Association (COTA) ECOLOGY & FARMING | 2-2013 47 . Since 2003. there are only 39 countries in the world that do not have organic certification bodies. 121 of the 267 that responded said yes. Stork-friendly rice in Japan A scheme for stork-friendly farming has allowed the oriental white stork – which became extinct in Toyooka City. when 127 answered that they had their own standards (The term ‘own standards’ includes both private standards with a wide scope (such as the standards used by organisations like the Soil Association) and standards made by public or private organisations to cover specific areas (such as aquaculture). Pacific archipelagos such as Micronesia or countries with unstable political situations such as Afghanistan. to sterilise seeds by soaking them in hot water (rather than buying treated seeds).com/ directory In 2012 there were 576 certification bodies operating in the world. The tenth edition of The Organic Certification Directory was published in February 2013. Imports to South Korea From 1 January 2013. Pure organic farming is also being promoted among farmers. These regulations are currently being drawn up. Toyooka City farmers are paid by the government to follow the rules of this scheme and receive a 60% premium for rice sold under the stork-friendly label. One of the steps in this process was a public consultation (which recently closed but can still be found at consultations/organic/2013_en. all fresh organic products exported to South Korea must be certified to the Korean standard. According to the Directory. The Organic Certification Directory asked certification bodies whether they have their own standard. Participating farmers are required to reduce pesticide use by 75%. The EU Commission will use the responses from this questionnaire together with other studies and evaluations as the basis for a renewed political and legal framework for organic agriculture in Europe. However this requirement will not apply to processed organic products until 1 January 2014.htm). The term also includes products outside the food/feed sector. Liechtenstein and Monaco in Europe. Japan at the beginning of the 1970s due to the introduction of intensive rice farming methods – to return to its old home. followed by South Korea.TOS Canada and Switzerland recognise each other’s organic programmes One more bilateral equivalency agreement has been added to the list of those achieved recently.thenational. China. The majority are located in the European Union. before the Government discusses them. this time between Canada and Switzerland. Products outside the scope of the arrangement can continue to be traded as usual (being certified to the standards of the importing country). It is anticipated that a first draft will be available from the Commission around the end of 2013. Switzerland or the European Union. as well as all ingredients in processed products. most being tiny micro-states such as Andorra. The equivalence arrangement has some limits as it requires all products. to flood their paddies deeper and to retain the water in the paddies for longer. The previous imports derogation system (whereby the competent authority in an EU country applies for approval of an import to the EU) will run in parallel until the end of June 2014 when this route will be closed down. to use no fertilisers.europa.

Teaching knowledge. raising awareness and building skills are the foundation for improving the living conditions of humans and communities in the long run and for transforming the current state of our society.A birthplace for social innovation Maximilian Abouleish-Boes & Maryam El Masry The Social Innovation Centre at Heliopolis University for Sustainable Development Education is the base for human and societal development. It is a challenge that all countries face in today’s world. The Heliopolis University campus 48 2-2013 | ECOLOGY & FARMING .

Egypt consists the organic movement and beyond. The companies within Sekem are involved in farming. Alongside the Sekem Holding and the Sekem Development Foundation (SDF) there is now the newly established Heliopolis University for Sustainable Development. Sekem’s farms in Sinai. The fact that the population is growing annually by an average of 2% raises serious questions about future food security in Egypt. By turning desert into living soils through the application of compost and biodynamic concepts and methods. Desert land reclamation is a necessary strategic approach to increase Egypt’s arable land resources. Sekem has been building up living soils in desert land. It can thus be seen as a form of social innovation. and integrating livestock with a diverse range of crops. implementing a closed nutrients cycle. The Sekem initiative is now seen as a model for sustainable development. post-harvest processing. It is not just technological solutions that are required: social innovations are much more important for successfully resolving burning social issues. It was officially established in September 2012 to continue the work of the educational system in the Sekem initiative and to extend the cycle for life-long learning. phytopharmaca. became a Schwab Social Entrepreneur in 2004 and won the Business for Peace Award in 2012. Ibrahim Abouleish founded the Sekem initiative on an untouched part of the Egyptian desert (70 hectares) in an area 60 kilometres northwest of Cairo. But how to encourage more innovations of a similar nature? Heliopolis University will play a crucial role in this. This approach to sustainable development includes a holistic worldview which involves seeing the world as an integrated whole. Sekem started further expanding its own farmlands on a number of locations in the Egyptian desert.02 feddan (= 84 m2) of arable land per person for over 85 million people. In 1977. an adult arts training centre and various research labs.Education Students in a fine arts session in the core programme Our mission is to empower our students to become champions of sustainable development and agents of change within society of over 95% desert which leaves less than 0. communities and nature in Egypt. The integration of these different roles creates strong synergies and is backed up with strong international partnerships in Sekem’s approach to agriculture is based on regeneration. Bahareya and Minya contribute has created many structural issues and problems. He was awarded the Right Livelihood Award in 2003. different vocational training centres. All of the 600 farmers who supply biodynamic and organic raw materials to Sekem are members of the Egyptian Biodynamic Association (EBDA) that provides capacity building and is supported by Sekem. a kindergarten. For over 30 years. where people live together in social forms ECOLOGY & FARMING | 2-2013 49 . It involves striving for a future where all human beings can unfold their potential. a centre for children with special needs. several schools. Dr. In 2008. rather than a dissociated collection of parts. It aims to further enhance the sustainable development of individuals. textiles and foods. E gypt has suffered from weak educational systems for decades and this to ensuring future security which creates jobs to sustain the farms. plants and trees. Sekem has shown that desert land can be reclaimed and regenerated. The SDF runs a community medical centre.

Students exploring farm life at Sekem’s farm close to Bilbeis that respect and foster human dignity. Heliopolis University provides a place where new ideas can find fertile ground for further research and teaching. ecology. 50 2-2013 | ECOLOGY & FARMING Our next faculty will be the Faculty of Sustainable ‘Agri-Culture’ Heliopolis University has strong links with the Sekem initiative. water and food scarcity and the depletion of energy” (Maximilian Abouleish-Boes) Another focus of Heliopolis University and its partners is the development of an inclusive concept for ‘agri-culture’.eg/ .abouleish@hu. This system is easily transferable into the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). Our mission is to empower our students to become champions of sustainable development and agents of change within society. Contact maximilian. By highlighting the word ‘culture’ we seek to emphasise that agri-culture is not only about cultivating farming land. small student numbers. One of the centre’s main priorities is the challenge of water scarcity. This implies a broader understanding of the term and the practices involved in agriculture. Currently in its first phase. “The first difficult step is to understand ‘water’ from a different perspective and to define the problem adequately before we try to find solutions or implement them within our specific context. The leverage effect of the agricultural sector is particularly significant in developing countries situated in arid climate zones. such as climate change. food and mineral resources and the loss of biodiversity). This focuses on trans-disciplinary research. and mechatronics. with departments of renewable energy. the Faculty of Business and Economics for sustainable management and economics. Our way of teaching includes an advanced dynamic curriculum. This is a unique characteristic that differentiates it from other private or public The aim is to further upscale and transfer the Sekem model and we have explicitly created a Social Innovation Centre for that purpose. scarcities of water. building staff capacity and developing curricula for sustainable development. The institutional setting or ecosystem can be considered as a birthplace for many social innovations. and where all economic activity is conducted in accordance with ecological and ethical principles. research and practice with a unique humanistic core programme to develop curious and creative personalities. society and culture. But looked at from the holistic development perspective. being a farmer can have a totally different meaning and ‘sustainable desert reclaimer’ could become one of the most exciting jobs of the century. Our next faculty will therefore be the Faculty of Sustainable Agri-Culture and we welcome everybody who wants to contribute to this endeavour! Maximilian Abouleish-Boes is Sustainable Development Manager at Sekem and is setting up the Social Innovation Center at Heliopolis University. The problem is that no one wants to become a farmer anymore. energy. modern teaching methods and student exchange programmes all enhance the learning environment and ensure a high standard of education. Prominent faculty members. This will prepare a new generation of future leaders able to tackle the challenges that Egypt and the world face. which has been developed together with international partners. facilitating international mobility. but equally about the development of humans and the earth. Our education combines teaching. one that emphasises that agri-culture is an essential foundation for societal development that holds the key for many burning contemporary issues (such as the depletion of soils. eg Maryam El Masry works in Sekem’s fundraising department Helioplis’ University’s website can be found at http://www. Heliopolis University presently has three faculties: the Faculty of Engineering. We are therefore happy to engage with any serious actors in the field that know more about water apart from the fact that it is H2O. as it combines all dimensions of life: economy. and the Faculty of Pharmacy and Drug Technology. In Egypt around 40% of the population is directly employed in agriculture and over 85% of all available water is used in irrigation. All degree programmes are accredited by the Egyptian Ministry of Higher Education and based on the credit hour system.

The Van Westering Groep B. IFOAM has over 800 affiliates in more than 100 countries. The Netherlands.from organic farmers’ associations to organisations from the organic food industry and Fair Organic Marketing Forum June 17 -19 2013 Warsaw.html IFOAM-EU July 2-4 2013 Vilnius.V.expoeast. researcher and consultant for more than 35 W www. Japan www. the professional magazine for organic farming in the Netherlands and Belgium and Gezond Bouwen & Wonen.O. from organic consumers to organic advocates. USA www.june 2013 . have been publishing magazines since Biofach Japan October 31 – November 02 2013 Tokyo. and represents the common interests of the organic movement based on the principles of organic agriculture (ecology. Kolbjörn Örjavik. June 26-27 Brussels. Nick Parrott Contributors to this issue  Authors & photos: André Leu. org/event/2013-textilesustainability-conferenceistanbul-turkey Middle East Natural & Organic Product Expo December 3-5 2013 Dubai www. The Netherlands T +31 (0) 35 88 735 31 F +31 (0) 35 54 241 19 E p. Maximilian Ecology & Farming is a magazine for all elements of the organic movement . Polen Fair and conference http://www. He combines the role of Chief-Editor of Ecology & Farming with his own The East African Organic Conference July 2-4 2013 Dar es Salaam. Rob Sexton. Gunnar Rundgren. care). Baarn.naturalproductme.ensser. Josef Finke. Wiebke Volkmann Editorial office Publisher  Jaap van Westering Editorial staff  Peter Brul (editor in chief) Denise Godinho. China www.O. Barbara Fitch Haumann.ifoam. frequency of 4 x per year: 44 euro Print er Veldhuis Media BV Raalte.biofach-japan. Eva Mattsson. IFOAM  The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements is the umbrella organisation for the organic movement. Bo van Elzakker. 3740 AP Baarn. The Netherlands T +31 (0) 35 88 735 31 Subscriber administration  P. Turkey http://textileexchange. The Netherlands Maurice Spithoven (design) Annemieke Praamstra Advert acquisition  Van Westering Groep bv Baarn. fairness. ECOLOGY & FARMING | 2-2013 51 registration/ Natural Products Expo Asia August 29-31 2013 Hong Kong. Established in 1972. The Netherlands E subscriptions@ projects/osea. IFOAM’s mission is to Subscription  Annual fee 2013.december 2013 // Calen dar Items Textile Sustainability Conference November 11-13 2013 Istanbul. Ecology & Farming provides information on key issues in the organic sector and offers the space for discussions on the topics of the day. Bernward Geier.Box 696 3740 AP Baarn. Belgium  CONTACT Lay-out  Vilarrica bv. assist and unite the organic movement in its full diversity. Peter Brul. a professional magazine about sustainable building and Natural Products Expo East September 25-28 2013 Baltimore.Box 696. Lithuania http://icoas2013. Tanzania W www. The articles published in Ecology & Farming reflect the opinions of their respective authors and should not be interpreted as an official IFOAM position. health. Stephanie Wells.brul@ecologyandfarming. Nuria Alonso. The Netherlands FSC certified Ecology and Farming published by Van Westering Groep bv. under the auspices of IFOAM Agroecology for Sustainable Food Systems in Europe: A Transformative Agenda. VWG also maintains a focus on ecology through Ekoland. Peter Brul has been working in the organic sector as a farmer. from research institutions to certifiers.

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