Demeter International – Greening the Desert

Biodynamic farming, Biodynamic preparations and the farm organism approach play an innovative role when building sustainable farm systems that are resilient to environmental changes. This applies to all climatic zones, but can offer solutions also to extremes such as is found in the desert.

When delegates to the Members’ Assembly of Demeter International met in Egypt from 6th to 11th June, there was intense discussion on how to best implement the Biodynamic approach with its understanding of the importance of animals. Animals contribute enormously to the soul life of the farm organism and their husbandry requires respect also for their innate behavioural needs. This, together with the Biodynamic preparation work,must be anchored in the Demeter Standards but over and above that must be able to develop freely.

27 delegates from 20 countries visited agricultural enterprises in the desert and on the black soil of the Nile Delta, saw examples of further processing these Biodynamic raw materials and viewed examples of animal husbandry adapted to the harsh desert environment. In workshops and the plenum sessions, the conference worked on possibilities to intensify this work in many corners of the globe and what consequences that would have for Demeter inspection and certification.

Keynote addresses on the reconciliation of Islamic and Western world views provided links between the world of ideas and the practical world, further underpinning the workshops and debate.

Demeter International, now in its 19th year, meets annually in June for the harmonising of Biodynamic activity world-wide. This year the meeting was held at the Sekem community (, North of Cairo, hosted by the Egyptian Biodynamic Association. In addition to work on development of Biodynamics, the Board of Demeter International was elected for the next three year period and standards amendments ratified.

Demeter International looks optimistically to the future with increasing areas being farmed Biodynamically. Presently 158,300 hectares are Demeter certified in 50 countries. The positive consequences for the earth, for global climate and for the nutrition of mankind are significant and offer encouraging perspectives.

Further information from:

Demeter-International e. V. – Brandschneise 1 – 64295 Darmstadt – Germany

phone +49-6155-84 69 99 – fax +49-6155-84 69 11