History

The humble beginnings of IFOAM trace back to a meeting in Versailles, France on November 5, 1972. Roland Chevriot of Nature et Progrés invited a number of participants including Lady Eve Balfour, founder of the UK Soil Association, Kjell Arman from the Swedish Biodynamic Association and Jerome Goldstein from the Rodale Institute. The outcome of this get-together was the founding of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM).

Now over forty years later, IFOAM has evolved into a global association with about 800 affiliates in 120 countries. Once seen as a fringe movement shunning modern day science and subject to criticism from farmers and researchers, many of our pioneering methods are now going mainstream, and, are welcomed as a viable and credible alternative to present day industrial farming.

Yet despite notable achievements and an ever-growing organic sector, financial restrictions pose a constant challenge to our work. Already daunting tasks seem, at times, impossible and resourcefulness has become one of our key survival tools.

But with drive and determination, we have brought the ideas initially articulated in France to the tables of international stakeholders and are now actively working with United Nations organizations such as FAO, IFAD, and UNFCC to name but a few.

Undeterred by financial and indeed other challenges, we remain committed to leading, uniting and assisting the organic movement in its full diversity.

More information can be found in our 40-year anniversary publication “Organic without Boundaries”