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 38,000 farmers in 44 countries manage an area of some 320,000 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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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.
Kenyan representatives of the Trilateral Tilapia Cooperation project paid a visit to the Naturland head offices in Gräfelfing, Germany, on the first stage of their one-week tour of Germany, for a professional exchange of ideas on sustainable fishing and organic aquaculture.
At the invitation of Dr. Gerd Müller, German Federal Minister for Economic Co-operation and Development, the delegation visited various ports of call in Germany between 26th November and 4th December, accompanied by several members of staff of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, a company providing services worldwide in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development, to compare notes with experts on the various aquaculture systems and on commercial fishing in general.
On 2nd December, 2016, Forum Fairer Handel, the network of fair trade organisations in Germany, and Hans-Joachim Fuchtel, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Co-operation and Development, held their annual “Fair-Trade Breakfast” in the German Bundestag. Parliamentarians availed themselves of the opportunity to acquire first-hand information about fair trade.
Steffen Reese, the general manager of Naturland, reminded his listeners of the essentially global validity of fair trade, saying, “Farmers producing cocoa in South America are entitled to the same fair treatment as, for example, German dairy farmers. The dumping of growers’ prices needs to be curtailed by encouraging organic, fair trade agriculture, both at home and abroad.”