A new paradigm for certification?

How can certification work be aligned in a new way to the mission and principles of Demeter? What part can peer-review and farm coaching play in the inspection process? How can a farmer be inspired and motivated to define for himself the developments necessary for his farm? There was intense discussion of this issue when the members of Demeter International met in Slovenia, from 18th to 23rd June. The 41 participants from 18 countries heard keynote lectures from Helmy Abouleish which gave a philosophical underpinning to the various papers and workshops on the theme. This led to both the definition of the four attitudes of honesty, openness, solidarity and initiative as qualities of an inner path which give substance to what is done in the physical world, and to concrete proposals for a renewal of the certification process as a consequence. In addition, the Demeter Institute Slovenia was elected as a full member of Demeter International after successfully completing the extensive requirements asked of a certifying organisation. The new member was celebrated with music and dance, and joins with a motivated team of competent personnel. Demeter International meets annually in June for the harmonising of Biodynamic activity world wide. This year the meeting held near Ljubljana/Slovenia was hosted by the Demeter Institute, the coordinating body for Demeter work in Slovenia. The venue, a college which also offers organic agriculture with additional Biodynamic activity at Naklo provided the conference facilities Demeter International looks optimistically to the future with the Demeter certified area world wide now over 147.000 ha. The positive consequences for the earth, for global climate change and for the nutrition of mankind are significant and offer encouraging perspectives. The new paradigm will certainly provide an even stronger basis for this work. Further information from: Demeter-International e. V. – Brandschneise 1 – 64295 Darmstadt – Germany phone +49-6155-84 69 99 – fax +49-6155-84 69 11 info@demeter.net - www.demeter.net