Gräfelfing – Naturland rings in its anniversary year! This year, the organic association is celebrating 40 years of organic farming, 40 years of social commitment and 40 years of regional and international cooperation. The non-profit association was founded in Bavaria in 1982 by a group of farmers, scientists and local residents. Since then, the association has enjoyed lasting success. Over 140,000 organic producers from 60 countries around the world work according to the strict Naturland guidelines, and this number is growing continuously.
“Today, we are the world’s largest international organic association”, says Hubert Heigl, President of Naturland, “and we are a community that is strong, democratic and dedicated to protecting the planet”. The vision of the association’s founders: 100% organic production across the world in agriculture, fish farming, forestry, apiculture, wine-growing and horticulture. “Naturland is currently the only organic association that also certifies organic forests”, says Heigl. “In 1996, 13 years before the EU, we defined guidelines for organic aquaculture”. In addition, Naturland has been certifying both organic and fair trade producers since 2010.
Naturland hopes to celebrate its birthday in Germany on farms and at trade fairs. A highlight will be the association’s anniversary conference, which will take place on the 13th of September in Berlin and will be attended by the Federal Minister of Agriculture Cem Özdemir (Bündnis 90/Grüne), organic chef and Naturland producer Sarah Wiener and biodiversity expert Prof. Katrin Böhning-Gaese. “We are also looking forward to welcoming Pacita Juan from Makati, in the Philippines, as a panellist who represents the future. She recently started selling products from Filipino Naturland producers locally”. Naturland will also celebrate its anniversary internationally at the end of this year with a digital event.
In view of the ongoing war in Ukraine and concerns about crop failures, local and sustainable value chains are needed now more than ever, warns Naturland’s President. “Naturland is working towards the following goal: to supply people all over the world with regionally-grown organic food”, says Heigl; For the farmer, one thing is clear: “Organic produce is not a luxury, it is a matter of survival”.