Naturland farmers and processors have been ground-breaking global pioneers for over 30 years. The world’s first ever conversion to organic agriculture of tea gardens in Sri Lanka and India in the 1980s was the prelude to our successful work on an international scale. Currently over 40,000 farmers manage an area of some 250,000 hectares according to the Naturland standards. To Naturland, organic agriculture means combining tradition with modern practices and experience with the courage to adopt new approaches.
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The threat of global climate change causing negative imapct on agricultural systems worldwide has long been discussed. Changes in the key climatic variables rainfall and temperature are said to have the potential to affect agricultural production and food security both globally and locally. Of course the effects of changes in climate on crop yields are likely to vary greatly from region to region, and large and far-reaching effects are predominantly expected in tropical zones of the developing world. Expected hazards include increased flooding, greater frequency and severity of droughts and excessive heat conditions, all of which can limit crop growth and yields severely.
However also German farmers are worried by eytreme weather events. Rainer Vogel, Naturland farmer from Nidderau in Hesse, in the middle of Germany reports the driest spring in the Wetterau region since the beginning of weather records. Combined with the hot July this weather causes harvests, depending on the soil quality and soil compaction, to vary between good average to total failure. One more reason for organic farmers to take even more care for their soils.
Gräfelfing/Nuremberg – “Naturland – mover and shaker. At home and abroad.” This was the Naturland slogan at the BioFach 2015 in Nuremberg. It makes a clear statement about the role Naturland is playing as a force for innovation in the organic industry. Whatever the area, from the certification of the first organic coffee co-operative, to the development of organic aquaculture and the establishment of links between organic and fair trade in the north and south: Naturland is a trail-blazing pioneer, inspiring others to push their own innovative boundaries.
At the joint Naturland booth in pavilion 6, close to 60 German and international partners and guests exemplified how Naturland continues to move and shake the organic sector. A good further 100 Naturland partners were also exhibiting in other trade fair pavilions. A total of 15 of the partners participated on the joint stand are certified to the Naturland fair trade standards, “Naturland Fair”. The successful development of the “Naturland Fair” concept is an example of the Naturland continuing concept of innovation.
Healthy soils are the key to food security. They protect our climate and water and are the habitat of one quarter of our planet’s biodiversity. Their significance is to be spotlighted in 2015 by the UNO which has declared it the International Year of Soils. Since preservation of the soil, a resource essential to life itself, has always been the core principle of organic agriculture, professional specialists of Naturland offer regular training to become a “soil practician”. In 2015, the Naturland farmers will again be given opportunities to refresh and extend their knowledge about the soil and how best to care for it. The kick-off starts at the International Green Week in Berlin in January at the Naturland activities area where everything centres on the topic of soil.
The fact that fertile soil is in limited supply whilst being a crucial factor in the battle against hunger, species loss and climate change is gradually dawning on public consciousness. In order to raise global awareness of the necessity to conserve the soil, the General Assembly of the United Nations has declared 2015 International Year of Soils. Our soil, a reservoir of carbon, nutrients and moisture, is under threat: every year we lose about 6 million hectares of fertile arable land due to improper agricultural use, contamination with pollutants and by it being built on. Demand for fertile soil is increasing in the same measure as it is being lost: population growth is leading to increased demand for food and renewable resources.