On the occasion of its 20th anniversary, the German biological umbrella organization Bund Ökologische Lebensmittelwirtschaft (BÖLW) and its guests looked back on two decades of biological development, important milestones, challenges and successes – and took a look into the future, how and why ecology can succeed in the transformation into a sustainable, robust agricultural and food system.
The Federation of the Organic Food Industry (BÖLW) was founded in 2002 and is the umbrella organization for German producers, processors and distributors of organic food in Germany. Organic food and beverages generate an annual turnover of 15.87 billion euros for approximately 52,000 organic farms. The members of BÖLW are: Association of Organic Food Producers (AöL), Biokreis, Bioland, Biopark, Bundesverband Naturkost Naturwaren (BNN), Demeter, Deutscher Tee & Kräutertee Verband, Ecoland, ECOVIN, GÄA, Interessensgemeinschaft of Organic Markets (IGBM), Naturland , Working group of organically engaged food retailers and pharmacies (ÖLD), Reformhaus eG and Verbund Ökohöfe.
President Tina Andres during the anniversary celebration. More pictures can be found here. Source: BÖLW
Never been more important than now
“Together we create the future of ecology every day. Organic has been at the heart of the transformation of the agricultural and food sector for decades. And BÖLW successfully ensures that the interests of organic farmers, producers and traders are brought together and represented in front of politicians,” says BÖLW President Tina Andres. “This has never been more important as we are facing a climate crisis, species extinction, pandemics and wars, and the very foundations of our food, and especially good nutrition, in other regions of the world are threatened. .
Just as renewable energy can free us from political dependence and catastrophic environmental damage, organic, with its independence from problematic inputs, is the “free food economy” of the future. What matters now is that those responsible in the EU and federal and state governments promote bio, just as they do with solar, wind or hydropower in the energy sector. “
Peter Röhrig, CEO of BÖLW, said: “Every percent more organic fields, every new organic mill or every extra shelf meter organic on the market means more independence, crisis resistance, species and climate protection. 30% organic means 30% of livestock farming takes place on land, that in 30% of the fields fertilizers from fossil raw materials and synthetic chemical pesticides are taboo or that 30% of our food is only produced with a fraction of additives and completely without genetic engineering Because organic food is regularly checked, and more than 90% of citizens know the eco-label. “
Central contact point for policy makers
Cem Özdemir, Minister of Food and Agriculture: “For 20 years, BÖLW has been committed to changing conditions and thus preserving our natural livelihood. Since then, it has been an indispensable partner on the long road ahead of us. More sustainability and environmental protection My congratulations go to the founders who made it possible For the development of the organic sector, it was of great importance that an umbrella organization in the form of BÖLW was established, which not only but also includes processing and trade, giving policy makers a single point of contact for all policy issues relevant to organic farming.
There is no other planet where we can start over when the wagon has hit the wall here. It is therefore about protecting the climate and protecting and strengthening biodiversity in meadows, pastures and fields. This diversity is systemically important, makes our ecosystems resilient and ensures our food production. It is therefore true that we have not given up ecological priority areas as some have wished.
We also stick to the goal of 30% organic farming. Organic farming is our guiding principle for agriculture, while at the same time making conventional agriculture more sustainable. We must become independent of fossil energy sources, mineral fertilizers and pesticides – and strengthen the circular economy. The organic food industry provides a significant boost to strengthen regional value chains and short supply chains – an important contribution to increasing the resilience of the food economy and strengthening our rural areas.
A better agricultural and food economy depends on whether it is worth anything to us as a society if farmers live up to our social expectations in the areas of animal welfare, climate protection and healthy nutrition. And by that I mean all farmers. All those who provide us with food must be valued, but above all, they must be able to make a living from their important work. Farmers can achieve a lot and do many things differently than today – but it also means that the structures and framework conditions change. “
For more information:
Bund Ökologische Lebensmittelwirtschaft (BÖLW)
+49 30 28482-300