Organic Farming: An International History (Cabi Publishing) by W Lockeretz

By W Lockeretz

Starting as a small protest to the industrialization of agriculture within the Nineteen Twenties, natural farming has turn into an important strength in agricultural coverage, advertising, and examine. now not pushed aside as unscientific and counterproductive, natural concepts are actually taken heavily by means of farmers, shoppers, scientists, nutrition processors, sellers, and regulatory companies in a lot of the area. natural farming is either dynamic and forward-looking yet is usually rooted in culture. it truly is those traditions which may supply worthwhile beginning issues in debates over how natural farming may still meet new demanding situations corresponding to globalization, the emergence of recent construction innovations, and growing to be drawback over fairness and social justice in agriculture. Complementing normal discussions with case histories of vital natural associations in a variety of nations, this accomplished dialogue is the 1st to discover the improvement of natural agriculture.

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Unfortunately, King died before his formal recommendations were realized. One can only imagine what modern agriculture might look like today if agricultural policy makers had heeded his experiences and advice! Similarly, the European and American pioneers served as communicators to Western audiences of agricultural techniques that were not formalized but lived informally in farmer-based knowledge and wisdom. Howard confirmed this role: ‘Howard was always wont to say that he learned more from the ryot [peasant] in his fields than he did from text books and the pundits of the classroom’ (Watson, 1948).

This happened in a very decentralized way at first, although the desirability of some international coordination was soon a driving force behind the founding in 1972 of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM, described in detail in Chapter 9, this volume). Among the roles of these organizations was to define consistent standards for organic food and establish programmes to certify farmers’ compliance with them, as described in Chapter 8. They saw themselves as the defenders of organic integrity and values, and carefully nurtured loyal consumer confidence based on these values and principles.

4 Organic-biological agriculture In the 1950s and 1960s the Schweizerische Bauern-Heimatbewegung (Swiss Farmers’ Movement for a Native Rural Culture) searched for an alternative to the industrialization of farming. The aim was to save a rural way of living rooted in Christian faith in the modern world. Led by Hans Müller (1891–1988) and especially by his wife Maria Müller (1899–1969), the farmers developed an original organic farming practice called ‘organic-biological agriculture’, which was characterized by ley farming, sheet composting and conservation tillage.

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