Biodynamics in China: Interview with Thomas Lüthi

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Honorary President of Demeter International, former gardener and Biodynamic farming instructor in Järna, Thomas Lüthi, has had a special relationship with Demeter in China since the Solar Eclipse 2009, which he experienced there when he was asked to give a talk on agriculture.

What about Biodynamic agriculture in China?

At the moment, there are only eight Demeter-certified farms, but the interest is far greater, precisely because of environmental and food quality issues. The future of the earth is an aspect that is very relevant for Chinese people. Their  initiative energy always amazes me. The path from idea to action is very short in China. In 2018, the <Agricultural Course> was translated into Chinese, 5000 copies were printed and several Waldorf schools received it for free. Now work is being done on the translation of the bee lectures.

Do cultural differences play a role in spreading Demeter worldwide?

For example, ruminants are very important in Biodynamics, but are less common in China, both culturally and traditionally. How Biodynamic agriculture can be adapted is a research question.

In terms of the social aspects of land management, each country has different conditions. In China, the soil belongs to the state. We cannot go there and say they should buy their land. The initiative for this must come from the respective culture itself. Through an international network, you can learn from each other.

What do you have to do without in order to develop a sustainable land economy?

Many Chinese are very willing to abstain because they realize that it is better for the world. Their environmental problem is also caused by our 'cheap consumerism' and therefore our problem. Maybe one has to give up a small part of ones self-focus, freeing  it for other people and for nature.


The interview was conducted by Gilda Rhien.

Published in «The Goetheanum of 22.2.2019: