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 43,000 farmers in 46 countries manage an area of some 350,000 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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For the second year running, Naturland has been able to record significant increases both in the number of its member farms and in the area cultivated. Besides experiencing strong growth in Germany once again, the organic association was also able to show international gains in 2016, where particularly in Europe the development was exceptionally positive. Currently there are in all 43,000 Naturland farmers to be found in 46 countries the world over. This translates into some 5,000 farmers more than a year ago. If one includes the woodlands managed according to the Naturland standards, this area then comes to over 330,000 hectares of land. To this should be added another almost 20,000 hectares of aquaculture areas.
Naturland and its partners at the BIOFACH 2017 from 15th – 18th February in Nuremberg
“Working together. Organic and fair trade.” This is the slogan under which Naturland and its some 170 German and international partners are exhibiting at this year’s BIOFACH. The theme being focussed on is the question of what contribution organic agriculture and fair trade can make towards achieving comprehensively sustainable development as defined in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals listed in the UN Agenda 2030.
At the BIOFACH Naturland provides a framework to discuss this topic – with visitors to the trade fair and politicians, as part of the congress programme as well as at the joint Naturland booth in pavilion 6.
Outstanding leader in the realm of organic agriculture
Organic agriculture was both his career and his calling. Hans Hohenester started out as an organic farmer 26 years ago, when he became a member of Naturland, culminating in his work as chairman of the board, a role in which he made an indelible impression on the association and in countless further offices. However, he also was key to promoting the development of organic agriculture in general, especially in Bavaria. After a serious illness, Hans Hohenester passed away on Sunday at the age of 59, surrounded by his family.
Dr. Felix Prinz zu Löwenstein, Chairman of BÖLW (German Federation of the Organic Food Industry), who was also a member of Naturland’s board of directors for 16 years concurrently with Hans Hohenester, commended the deceased as an outstanding leader in the realm of organic agriculture. “As a practising farmer, he was a perfect representative of the authenticity and credibility of our movement,“ said Löwenstein.
Naturland welcomes that EU Commission, Council and Parliament have not succeeded in reaching a political agreement on the proposal for a new organic regulation. In a joint declaration signed in Munich, Germany, on 2nd December, a total of 18 organic associations from 15 European countries had shown Brussels the red card. The organic associations were calling for the EU Commission, the EU Parliament and the EU Council of Ministers to cancel the impending trialogue negotiations and to overturn the revision, because the proposals under consideration in Brussels would make no improvements to the regulation. They would instead pose a threat to the economic existence of many organic farms throughout Europe as well as of smallholders in developing countries, because the import rules are not in favour of small organic farmers in developing countries.