2014 is the 90th anniversary since the Agriculture Course was given in Koberwitz, Germany in 1924, when Rudolf Steiner gave a series of eight lectures that became the basis for Biodynamic farming and gardening.

Demeter International said that biodynamic associations from around the world will celebrate 90 years since Koberwitz with celebrations and events around the world.

Demeter is the only ecological association that has built up a network of individual certification organisations world-wide and has as its basis, the Biodynamic agriculture method, originated by Rudolf Steiner. In 1997 Demeter-International was founded for closer co-operation in the legal, economic and spiritual spheres.

Presently Demeter International has 17 members and 7 guest-members from Europe, America, Africa and New Zealand. Thus Demeter-International represents ca. 5.000 Demeter farms, with nearly 150.000 hectares in more than 45 countries.

Demeter-International is a non-profit organisation and its member organisations work together in the spirit of an international confederation with democratic principles. Membership requires a functioning Demeter certification programme. Associations which support the objectives of Demeter-International can be elected as associated members.

Demeter Germany held a scientific meeting on 6 and 7 June 2014 in Bonn to celebrate 90 years since Koberwitz.

Biological-Dynamic has since emerged as the benchmark for sustainable organic farming and provides answers to pressing current issues, such as soil fertility or ethical perspectives in dealing with animals and plants. This shows again and again: Biological-Dynamic has the course for the future, Demeter Germany says.

USA demand for Demeter growing, Member’s Assembly the key event

Co-director of Demeter USA and the Demeter Association Inc, Elizabeth Candelario, says an important event on the calendar for the Demeter Association is the annual Members’ Assembly (being held in France in June), when colleagues from Demeter chapters from around the world gather to discuss all things related to Biodynamic farming and products.

Demeter remains the oldest ecological certification organization in the world, Ms Candelario says. The Demeter Farm Standard was originally written by the group of farmers who attended Rudolf Steiner’s lectures, now referred to as “The Agriculture Course”, in order to codify what he had talked about in a standard, and began to enforce it in the marketplace via certification.

“The Farm Standard is historically significant because it dates back to the beginning of the modern sustainable farming movement and captures key agronomic principles not comprehensively addressed in any other agricultural standard,” she says.

“I always like to point this out because whether one cares specifically about organic, sustainable, permaculture, or even Biodynamic farming, this standard stands as the response to the industrialization of our farming system.

“Demeter’s primary job internationally is to administer to this standard, which each country must meet at a minimum, and this is a large part of the agenda at each year’s Members’ Assembly. One could accurately view the Member’s Assembly as an agricultural United Nations.”

Talking about recognition of the Demeter label and biodynamic farming and certification in the USA, Ms Candelario says the USA is experiencing tremendous growth of Biodynamic farms and products, while volumes and sales of these products are growing year-on-year.

Helping this trend are national retailers like Whole Foods Market, who are very committed to the development of products and the education of consumers, because they see Biodynamic as a natural progression in their commitment to the healthiest foods produced in the most sustainable way, she says.

“Leading national organic food companies like Amy’s Kitchen, Republic of Tea, and Lundberg are bringing Biodynamic products to market, which is very exciting. I have heard many say that they believe the promise of organic can be delivered in Biodynamic.”

Biodynamic Agri-Culture A Matter of Life Conference

The Biodynamic Association (BDA) of the UK owns and administers the Demeter Certification Mark that is used by biodynamic producers in the UK to guarantee to consumers that internationally recognised biodynamic production standards are being followed.

The Biodynamic Agri-Culture – A Matter of Life Conference will explore the contribution that biodynamics can make to enhancing food quality, soil, plant and animal health and social and economic renewal.

The conference will be held over three days at Glasshouse College, Stourbridge, West Midlands, 30 October – 2 November 2014.

Key themes for the conference include soil quality, practical home gardening, seed and plant breeding, bees and access to land.

Speakers include Patrick Holden (Patron of the Biodynamic Association and Director of the Sustainable Food Trust), Gunther Hauk (Spikenhard Farm Honeybee Sanctuary in USA) and Monty Waldin (Wine critic).

For more information, please contact: Jessica Standing, Administrator, office@biodynamic.org.uk tel: 01453 759501

 New book launched, Agriculture for the Future Biodynamic agriculture today

Agriculture for the Future Biodynamic agriculture today. 90 years since Koberwitz was published in February 2014 by the Verlag am Goetheanum, Ueli Hurter (Ed.)

The “Agricultural Course” held in 1924 by Rudolf Steiner gave a new impulse for the development of agriculture: a holistic agriculture, which uses a modern approach to work directly with the life processes of nature and thus opens a new perspective on the future cultivation of the earth.

Since its beginnings, 90 years ago, a worldwide movement has emerged. In this book competent authors describe the development and diversity of the biodynamic agriculture movement: The historical development – The farm as an organism – Scientific research results – New methods of research – Fertilization, composting, biodynamic preparations – Landscaping – Subtropical and Tropical Agriculture – Seed breeding – Constellation research – Bees – Wine – Nutrition – Demeter, a worldwide label for biodynamic produce – Training – Social farming – Social design, land law and new forms of marketing – Outstanding examples from all continents. The book can be ordered from the BookDepository.com or from the Biodynamic Association in the UK for £25.