A look toward Agri-Culture of the Future

June 2016

Demeter International Members’ Assembly held in Finland adopts mission paper.

In the face of current challenges in food and farming – devastating milk prices for conventional dairy farms, extreme weather events as a consequence of climate change, financial speculation on farm land – the urgent need for a paradigm change in food and farming systems becomes more and more obvious. Biodynamic farming provides holistic models for societal change. Representatives of Demeter and Biodynamic associations from 23 different countries on five continents have met for their annual assembly in Finland from 13th to 18th June to discuss and adopt strategies for the further development of food and farming.

While Demeter together with the organic and environmental movements stands for farm systems that help to tackle environmental challenges, respect ecological systems and practice careful use of natural resources, Demeter also fosters cultural change. This includes a change of mind-sets along with new forms of social and economic cooperation which can lead to a truly sustainable agri-Culture that serves human society. As a common basis for these efforts, the Demeter International Members’ Assembly has ratified a Vision, Mission and Principles paper that describes the common mission to come to an “agri-Culture that impels and enables people to unfold their individual potential and develop their full consciousness”.

Demeter International members also agreed on a position regarding new gene technologies such as CRISPR-Cas, Cisgenetics or TALEN. Those technologies are technical interventions into the cell and the genome, under investigation in recent years by companies and scientists in plant and animal breeding, with some plant varieties now ready to be launched in the market. These techniques have to be regulated just as the older GMOs are: They must be subject to risk assessment and labelling, also the possibility of retrieving them must be ensured by lawmakers. Biodynamic and organic agriculture in connection with Biodynamic breeding have a holistic view of agri-Culture and therefore provide better approaches to solve complex future challenges than single sided technological approaches. Those technologies lead into further intensification of farming systems based on large inputs of chemicals and energy. Therefore, Biodynamic organisations call on policy makers to support research in holistic, sustainable approaches to farming and to stand up for the expansion of Biodynamic and organic farming.

Biodynamic approaches in Finland have been excellently demonstrated by the people that were visited on the Members’ Assembly excursion day. Ari and Ira Hellstén, founders of the ecovillage Kurjentila, presented their growing project where working together, international relations, urban-rural exchange and education for ecological consciousness are living practice. Also the Biodynamic farm Rekola, which Kalervo Rekola converted to Biodynamic methods already in the 1970s, was an impressive showcase of the successful implementation of Biodynamic principles. Nowadays, Joona Rekola takes care of arable farming as well as the herd of Limousin cattle that spends summertime in the forest and on the pastures. His companion Henri Murto grows a large variety of vegetables and aims to establish the Rekola garden also as a place for meetings, exchange, education and inspiration.

Demeter International looks optimistically to the future with increasing areas being farmed Biodynamically. Presently 164,000 hectares are Demeter certified in 52 countries. The positive consequences for the earth, for global climate and for the nutrition of mankind are significant and offer encouraging perspectives.

www.demeter.net

All news in this category

Early Academic Training Produces Long-Term Harm

Research reveals negative effects of academic preschools and kindergartens.  [more]

A Comparison of Waldorf and Mainstream Education

When parents are researching private schools, the myriad of options and different educational philosophies can sometimes be overwhelming. Many... [more]

Technology and Child Development

Technology's impact on the 21st century family is fracturing its very foundation, and causing a disintegration of core values that long ago were the... [more]

Epidemic Short-sightedness: A result of shortened outdoor-time?

East Asia has been gripped by an unprecedented rise in myopia, also known as short-sightedness. Sixty years ago, 10–20% of the Chinese population was... [more]

Domestic report on the Steiner school movement in Austria

During the last years there have been a number of changes and new developments and initiatives in Austria. While one school has closed down due to... [more]

Domestic report on the Steiner school movement in Denmark

In Denmark there are 15 established Steiner schools and 1 new one (2014) with a total of 2860 children from preschool to class 12. Only 6 of the... [more]

Rudolf Steiner University College Oslo

Rudolf Steiner University College (RSUC) in Oslo – Norway, was founded in 1981 with the task of providing teachers for the increasing demand from... [more]

CULT Committee calls for exclusion of non-profit educational services from the TTIP

The ongoing negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the European Union (EU) and the United States of... [more]

France bans WiFi in childcare facilities catering children under age 3

The French National Assembly recently passed a law that will help to limit young children’s exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) generated by... [more]

US: States weigh turning education funds over to parents

A radical new concept in school choice will come up for vote in at least a half-dozen states from Virginia to Oklahoma in the coming months, as... [more]

Displaying results 61 to 70 out of 124

< Previous

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Page 4

Page 5

Page 6

Page 7

Next >

Follow