The International Biodynamic Association (IBDA) is the worldwide union of national biodynamic associations and represents the biodynamic impulse in the service of the biodynamic and the Demeter movements. IBDA works in close cooperation with the Section for Agriculture at the Goetheanum on the one hand, and with Demeter International, on the other hand.
IBDA holds the ownership rights of the biodynamic and Demeter trademarks. In this way the trademarks belong collectively to the biodynamic movement, while still being secured by only one organisation. The use of the trademarks has been contractually agreed with Demeter International.
Further tasks of IBDA are to support activities at international level that help to strengthen the biodynamic impulse, by supporting the development of the member organisations, through the organisation of events and projects and by fostering alliances and partnerships. For example, IBDA is a member of the Alliance ELIANT.
IBDA has the legal form of a tax free society under Swiss law. Currently there are 24 member organisations and the board is made up of five persons. IBDA sees itself as a service provider and is very much connected in terms of content and staff to the Section for Agriculture.
Demeter is the only ecological association that has built up a network of individual certification organisations world-wide. In 1997 Demeter-International was founded for closer co-operation in the legal, economic and spiritual spheres. Presently Demeter International has 17 members and 7 guest-members from Europe, America, Africa and New Zealand. Thus Demeter-International represents ca. 5.000 Demeter farms, with nearly 150.000 hectares in more than 45 countries.
Demeter-International e. V. is a non profit organisation and its member organisations work together in the spirit of an international confederation with democratic principles. Membership requires a functioning Demeter certification programme. Associations which support the objectives of Demeter-International can be elected as associated members. Its basis is the Biodynamic agriculture method, originated by Rudolf Steiner in his “Agriculture Course” given in Koberwitz in 1924, and developed further in practice and research.
The main tasks of Demeter-International are
The members assembly is the highest body and meets once a year, as a rule in June in various countries. It elects the board of directors and the working groups with people from different countries.
In June 2011 the following board members were approved: Thomas Luethi from Sweden (president), Susanna Kueffer-Heer from Switzerland (treasurer), Christoph Simphendoerfer from Germany (vice-president), Lapo Cianferoni from Italy and Jean-Marie Defrance from France. as well as an associate member from New Zealand, North America and South America. Special items are worked out in working groups:
Working Group for International Production & Processing Standards: International Demeter Standards for production have existed since 1992, and have been developed regularly. In June 1999 the International Processing Standards were first approved by the members’ assembly. They regulate the processing of food, cosmetics, textiles as well as storage, packaging and labelling. Since October 2005 the co-ordination of the working group is done by Ian Henderson from New Zealand.
International Accreditation Council: The council develops procedures to harmonise Demeter certification programs world-wide. It is co-ordinated by Reto Ingold from Switzerland.
International Certification Office: This body organises certification of farms/operations in countries without their own Demeter organisation, and provides information about inspection/certification, market access and advisory for international inquiries. Contact person is Ute Bucholski.
Co-operation on an international level is a challenging but mutually enriching task. The Biodynamic activities on a Dutch market garden are different from those on an orange grove on the edge of the Negev desert in Israel, or arable production on the Argentinean pampas. Marketing in Germany requires a different strategy from that in New Zealand. Demeter international is a contemporary example of co-operation based on commitment, transparency, and regional independence.
A list of Demeter international member organisations can be found here.
Founded in 1972, IFOAM -Organics International is a membership-based organization to bring true sustainability to agriculture across the globe. IFOAM builds capacitiey to facilitate the transition of farmers to organic agriculture, raises awareness of the need for sustainable production and consumption, and advocates for a policy environment conducive to agro-ecological farming practices and sustainable development. IFOAM has members in over 100 countries and territories as well as regional bodies and sector platforms.
Human worth and individual development are core values of European culture. In order for these values to become a reality for all European citizens, freedom of choice is not enough. Instead, there must also be the opportunity to freely choose, especially in the areas of upbringing, education and health.
ELIANT was founded in order to not only maintain but expand these opportunities to choose. The founders of the ELIANT Alliance are the European umbrella organizations that represent the various initiatives of Rudolf Steiner’s applied anthroposophy – in the areas of agriculture and nutrition, medicine and health care, education, therapeutic pedagogy, and social therapy.
We – the co-workers and supporters of ELIANT Alliance - seek to join with people and organizations who share similar values to make a civic contribution to greater quality of life and cultural diversity in Europe. The motto for our work comes from Goethe’s “The Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily.” “One alone does not help, but rather he who unites with others at the right time."