The humble beginnings of IFOAM trace back to a meeting in Versailles, France in 1972. Roland Chevriot of Nature et Progrès envisioned the need for Organic Agriculture movements to coordinate their actions and to enable scientific and experimental data on organic to cross borders. In order to realize this vision, he invited organic pioneers including Lady Eve Balfour, founder of the UK Soil Association, Kjell Arman from the Swedish Biodynamic Association and Jerome Goldstein from the Rodale Institute to join him in Versailles to set the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) in motion. See Roland Chevriot's invitation letter.
Read more about IFOAM's early
years in our retrospective publication
“Organic without Boundaries”.
IFOAM'S 40TH ANNIVERSARY
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, the organic movement has pioneered methods that are now widely welcomed as a viable and credible alternative to present day industrial farming.
These acievements were celebrated in November, 2012:
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 continue to bring the ideas initially articulated in France to the tables of international stakeholders; in these efforts we actively work with United Nations organizations such as FAO, IFAD and UNFCCC.
Undeterred by financial and other challenges, we remain committed to leading, uniting and assisting the organic movement in its full diversity.