Tag Archive: ifoam

Dec 21

IFOAM. The 40th Anniversary.

Practice what you preach in all respects and live a sustainable lifestyle.

In those forty years the wheel has turned full circle. In the beginning, of my life anyway, self sufficiency and sustainability was a necessity of a post world war scenario where scrimp and save were the order of the day and that is where I learned the skills and wisdom of working in the natural world and became a student of horticulture at tertiary level. As globalization with the attendant industrialization of food production based on technology gained sway so the concept of horticulture or garden culture became an anachronism and the wisdom of old became forgotten and chemical farming took over as the conventional wisdom.

So it was that Rachel Carson as early as 1962 sowed the seeds of doubt in the minds of the people and by the mid 70’s on the back of the energy crisis a new environmental awareness was born and what was left of the traditional wisdoms of land management rose from the old literature and the renaissance of the organic movement began.     For me in New Zealand in 1976 it was the beginning of the Biological Husbandry Unit [BHU] on the campus of an organic unbelieving Lincoln University. Out of sight out of mind, it was a matter of creating the new organic tomorrow based on the old biological science and doing it for all to see while educating the young and subverting the existing paradigm through infiltration into the minds of the students that there was another pathway to follow. Over the next 20+ years hundreds of students were challenged to rethink their pathways into life in the broadest way.

Today 36 years later the BHU survives as a dedicated ORGANIC COLLEGE attached to Lincoln University demonstrating and teaching organics in both a theoretical and practical way helping many to relearn the science, wisdom and practice of a more holistic lifestyle on the journey to a very different economic paradigm in the future.

The Christchurch earthquakes from 2010 until today have destroyed much of the City and suburbs and created the kind of disaster that has stimulated the populations understanding of the need for greater self sufficiency and sustainability and has resulted in a renaissance of need for basic knowledge of how to tend the land for productivity. Horticulture once again has relevance, the wheel turns full circle and grass lawns get turned into productive areas.


Bob Crowder
73Ashgrove Terrace, Christchurch. New Zealand.
Board of Directors IFOAM 1989-97

Nov 19

From a Strong Supporter of IFOAM’s Poverty Eradication Policy, a Message to the Organic Community

Poverty eradication still remains the over- riding priority for developing countries including Turkey and the greatest global challenge is, we have to care about Mother Nature that nurtures us. With the recent global economic crisis, financing for development of the developing world by the developed countries has been increasingly coming under acute pressure and requirement of enhanced development assistance is all the more critical when developing countries are faced with curtailed capital flows, austerity measures and increased programming requirements. Even the EU Food Program is under threat. Development operational activities of the Global System under UN policies must have the ability to respond and adapt to the evolving environment and expectations of individual countries, scientific communities, NGOs (as IFOAM did) stressing that the programming activities need to be harmonized with the budgetary plus other precautions and policies.

IFOAM recognized that agro-ecological based farming (Organic farming) practiced by small-scale farmers as the most effective approach in addressing climate change, food and water security, biodiversity loss, poverty eradication and sustainable development. World population reached over 7 billion in 2011 and 880 million rural poor people living on less than $1.0 per day/Per Person and 70 percent are partially or completely dependent on agriculture, livestock and food security.  IFOAM came up with a slogan and sent a message through Rio+20 in July 2012 Organic Agriculture: Smart Solutions to Overcome Hunger and Poverty and have been cooperating with local and international members, working with international organizations: FAO, the World Farmers Organization, UNCCD and others. IFOAM is trying to eliminate GMOs and antibiotics use, fighting against industrial harassment and aggressive policies of agriculture industry (i.e. Monsanto.).   That is why it is worth to declare IFOAM “SELIKOFF* OF THE WORLD ORGANIC AGRICULTURE AND LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION” because in a broad spectrum its purpose is to eliminate “Hunger, poverty, natural disasters and feeling powerlessness and hopelessness that represent biggest threat to the world peace” aiming to raise healthy generations by practicing healthy organic agriculture principles.

“The Right to Food” principle stimulated IFOAM’s efforts by prioritizing increased investments in local food production, smallholders, youth, indigenous farmers and paying special attention to women and a commitment to ensure proper nutrition for all. 17th of October is the International Poverty Eradication Day that tries to help “Ending the Violence of Extreme Poverty: Promoting Empowerment and Building Peace” where IFOAM dedicated itself to serve to this purpose.  Despite some important gains, several critical gaps remain that may be solved through the application of the organic agriculture principles through women, standards, flexibility and adaptability is the key to the success.  Increasing opportunities for women in organic agriculture and livestock production can have a powerful impact on productivity and agriculture-led growth.  Women tend to devote a larger fraction of their income to their children’s health and nutrition, laying the foundation for their children’s lifelong cognitive and physical development.

The Rio+20 efforts and the followed correct policy provided by IFOAM which involves scaling up pilot programs to create transformational changes: Legal reforms, especially related to land rights, are often important to ensuring access and use. Expand leadership and participation of women in organic agricultural decision making at all levels and in all institutions related to its policies “Feed the Future” will ensure the food security programs.  The problem is complex, however IFOAM is working on creative solutions that will help women, families and smallholders attain long-term food security for happier and healthier lives of all. Happy 40th anniversary IFOAM, the job is well done.  Thank you and congratulations!


Associate Professor Sümer Hasimoglu, MS, PhD
Adviser to Dogu Anadolu Tarim ve Besiciler Birligi Dernegi (DOGTARBESBIR- Eastern Anatolian Agriculture and Livestock Producers Association) Erzurum, Turkey/ Schafer Str. 20, 19053 Schwerin, Germany,


* Dr. Irving Selikoff: He began to publicize his famous research on the health effects of asbestos in 1964.  The industry started a multiyear attack on him and his research. To his credit, Dr. Selikoff endured this sustained industry-generated harassment.  While asbestos is still being exported from and used in some countries, credible scientists agree on its devastating health effects.Similarly to above, it is also worth to mention that one of the research scientists Prof. Dr. Onur Hamzaoglu is chosen as Selikoff** of Turkey who is prosecuted by the Turkish Government and the University administration because he published and explained his research findings and declared that Izmit Province industrial waste is a threat to the health of the people (Increased number of the cancer incidences) live in the area. He was harassed and accused that he had intended to cause panic among people (Cem Terzi, 2012)


Oct 29

I Am Organic

I am organic. It is how I live, make decisions, eat, raise my family, create my livelihood and visualise the future.

Organic is my culture. I am passionate about the mountain ‘Pukematekeo’ that I am enveloped by, and springs that feed the streams that soften the land that nurtures me and my family. I am intimate with these details, and give thanks to the simple pleasures I am gifted. By having an attitude of gratitude, I find I am open to learning. I protect these gifts and share the knowledge, practice and intelligence of my culture when asked. My children learn by doing.


Organic is being human. It joins me with others irrespective of their race, creed or language. The roots of our practices that binds us is like jazz; collective, spontaneous improvisation.  Deep Organics is not complicated, nor is its essence found in rules and regulations, but I acknowledge these constructs as symptoms of human frailty. I am not afraid of these; I see them for what they are and am happy to work with them.

Being Organic, I am part of the mosaic of life. I love the ‘big picture’, being part of the raising of human consciousness. My focus however is always based from the daily rhythms of our family farm, gardens and the food on our table shared with family and friends. Organics is a simple, gentle life that keeps me humble.

IFOAM is the home of the global family of Organics. Like those before me I am proud to work to make the home strong and more hospitable. I cherish the knowledge openly shared by others. I trust as you do in me that we strive to make the world an Organic one. This gives me courage.

Leadership serves. I have been a World Board (2005-2008), chair of the nomination committee for the 2011 elections and have worked on GOMA. I am currently a Board member of BioGro (IFOAM accredited member) on the IFOAM Standards Requirements Committee and actively participate in the Sustainable Organic Agriculture Action Network (SOAAN).

Brendan Hoare