How can the vision for the future be defined in a mission statement and principles for Biodynamic agriculture that will support the spread of Biodynamics in the world?
There was intense discussion of this issue when the members of Demeter International met in England, from 17th to 22nd June 2013. As background, the 39 delegates from 20 countries visited model farms and processors to get first hand impressions of Demeter production and trade. Keynote addresses on social and philosophical aspects, providing links between the world of ideas and the practical world, also served to underpin the workshops and debate.
The vision-mission-principles debate is seen as fundamental to the coordination of the Biodynamic movement in its internal decision making processes and how it presents itself to the wider community. Delegates worked intensively on finding agreement on the underlying ideas and expressing them in understandable language. The formulations produced will be brought to a conclusion in the coming year and then widely communicated.
Furthermore, in addition to the many other agenda topics relating to standards and trademark issues, the Asociación de Agricultura Biodinámica de España (AABE - Demeter Spain) was elected as full member of Demeter International after successfully completing the extensive requirements asked of a certifying organisation. In addition, international standards for Aquaculture and Infant Milk Nutrition were approved.
Demeter International meets annually in June for the harmonising of Biodynamic activity world-wide. This year the meeting was at The Field Centre, Ruskin Mill, Nailsworth, Gloucestershire, England hosted by the Biodynamic Association (UK), the coordinating body for Biodynamic and Demeter work in the United Kingdom. The brand new venue, a centre for practical and academic training, learning and research based on the work of Rudolf Steiner, provided a visible statement to conference participants on the relationship of the human being to nature, cosmos, earth and time through the geometry of its architecture.
Demeter International looks optimistically to the future with increasing areas being farmed Biodynamically (presently 153,205 hectares are Demeter certified). The positive consequences for the earth, for global climate change and for the nutrition of mankind are significant and offer encouraging perspectives.