|History of IFOAM|
The 30-year-plus history of IFOAM has proven that the proponents of
organic agriculture embody an impressive agent of social and ecological
revolution. It all started in 1972 when the President of the French
farmers' organization, Nature et Progrès conceived of a worldwide
appeal to come together to ensure a future for organic agriculture and
from there, people working in alternative agriculture banded together
from, initially, as far apart as India and England. The German-speaking
countries, as well as France, were also sites of the youngest IFOAM
activities.Canada, too, produced key early participation, and by the
80s, IFOAM had leaders in the US, attracted involvement from African
agents of organic agriculture, and launched a unique and fruitful
relationship with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United
Throughout the 90s, IFOAM made moves to decentralize its governance by establishing regional bodies and organized the first major international conference on environmental issues after the 1992 UNCED in Rio, where IFOAM was an active proponent of the organic way.
Throughout its past, the Federation has consistently succeeded at: fostering active debate, networking beyond the borders of class, gender, and region; continually improving organizational structure, policies, standards; attracting volunteers and overcoming financial challenges; working with the diversity of organic movements; producing standards which provided a model for numerous major laws and voluntary standards, (Codex Alimentarius, EU, FAO); and integrating scientific expertise and business sense into the emotional realm of organic agriculture.
These themes are at the heart of IFOAM's extensive scope and impact. Today, for instance, the IFOAM Basic Standards are translated in 18 languages!
Though characterized by constant change, the Federation's history is ultimately about staying power, and IFOAM has proven to be unique among worldwide efforts to counter the Green Revolution in the reach and depth of its impact.It was one of IFOAM's founders, Eve Balfour, who said that the characteristics of truly sustainable agriculture can be summed up with the word, "permanence," and the same should be said about the fate of the leader, uniter, and assistor of the world's organic agriculture movements.Firmly rooted in the terrain of its past, IFOAM looks ahead to an equally rich future determined by the nurture of individuals and groups such as members, internal assemblages, and outside partners.
|IFOAM - International Federation of Organic Agriculture | firstname.lastname@example.org|