Journal of Social Research & Policy,
Volume: 1, Issue: 2, Pages: 93-102
Date: December 2010
ISSN: 2067-2640 (print), 2068-9861 (electronic)
Abstract: The formation of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) at Versailles, France, in 1972 set organic food and farming on a strong future trajectory. It was an initiative of France’s Nature et Progrès, and driven by its then President, Roland Chevriot. IFOAM was founded with the support of a small cluster of kindred organisations: Rodale Press of the USA; the Soil Association of the UK; the Soil Association of South Africa; and the Swedish Biodynamic Association. None of these five organisations bore the term ‘organic’ in their title, nevertheless, the choice of name acknowledged ‘organic’ as the term to signify their common cause. It secured ‘organic’ as the core narrative element and as the international descriptor of what is now a clearly identifiable and differentiated segment of the global food and farming sector. From the outset ‘biodynamic’ was accepted as a special case of ‘organic’. The formation of IFOAM created an entity which united the aspirations, the philosophies and the hopes of disparate groups each with roles primarily restricted to national advocacy. IFOAM has grown to a federation of 804 organisations from 111 counties. Organic production statistics are now reported by IFOAM from 154 countries and organic sector retail sales are reported to be US$51b annually. IFOAM is based in Bonn, Germany, and as the global umbrella advocacy group for the organic sector it is without peer.
Keywords: Organic Agriculture; Organic Farming; Biodynamics; Certified Organic; International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM)
1. Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Oxford, 51-53 Banbury Rd, Oxford OX2 6PE, UK.