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Dear members and friends,

The year 2021 has been a very turbulent year for us all, with the pandemic posing unprecedented challenges. Also, politically, much has happened in the agricultural sector - some of the developments being encouraging and some being rather disheartening. Yet, the Biodynamic Federation Demeter International stands strong with a precise vision for the future of our food systems. Having a clear stance on the various agro-environmental issues facing humanity over the coming decades as well as offering tangible solutions is more important than ever.
We are rapidly approaching the 2030 deadline for many international sustainability agreements, such as the Sustainable Development Goals Agenda 2030 or the Paris Agreement. So far, high-level, international politics has neglected the agricultural component in climate politics. The recent COP26 in Glasgow confirmed that once again. Agriculture was merely a sub-topic in the discussion about natural areas in general. In our preparation of the COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt, the Federation will make it a priority to make sure that the current industrial agriculture practices are flagged in political discussions of the Summit, that the agricultural sector commits to reducing its climate impacts, and that politics will support this urgent transition adequately.
We will also work relentlessly to include biodynamic farming practices as viable alternatives in the political climate agenda. I will personally attend the COP27 and follow the relevant developments in the run-up of the Summit closely. As environmental stewards, the Federation must and will stand firmly in advocating, promoting, and applying biodynamic principles. This is my promise to you.

Helmy Abouleish, President of the Biodynamic Federation Demeter International

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Table of Contents:


News from the Federation

Advisory, Research and Training
Animals on Farms
Communication & Marketing
Membership Committee
Policy and Public Relations

News from the Section
The spiritual signature of our time
Quality and Quantity
Online course from the Section

News from the Member Organisations
United Kingdom

News from the World
Main outcomes of the COP26
New GMO developments in Brazil
Biodynamic guide to food quality
Support IFOAM Organics International 

International Contacts

News from the Federation
Advisory, Research and Training

The Biodynamic Preparation Plant Cultivation Manual
Now in Spanish!

The Spanish version of the good practice manual, The Cultivation of Plants for Biodynamic Preparations is now available. The manual is the result of the efforts of Rolf and Anne Bucher, supported by various authors and collaborators at a global level. Originally published in English, the Manual is an essential guide to the development of the Biodynamic preparations. As such, we have translated the document into Spanish, to make the guide available for Spanish speakers throughout the world.
The Manual is available for free download in PDF format here
The Manual aims to comprehensively support all those who want to deepen their knowledge of biodynamic preparations, and the cultivation of their archetypal plants. It is an invitation to begin a living relationship with exceptional medicinal plants widely available around the globe, and to understand the unique influences and qualities of biodynamic preparations for the vivification and regeneration of agricultural landscapes.

The Manual contains a diversity of views and experiences of authors from different regions of the world, which enriches the content of the manual and opens possibilities for developing biodynamic preparations in different contexts and latitudes. The Spanish version extends this invitation to a wider audience to continue on a path of learning and personal development.

For more information, please contact Petra Derkzen at:

Climate Change & Biodynamic Training

Climate change is a reality that we have to face today. The Earth is warming; a manifestation of the inner processes it faces in its encounter with the forces of materialism. Climate change is a challenge for our current society, but if approached wisely may also be a unique opportunity for development and growth. Biodynamic agriculture has a powerful role to play in this inner and outer path of development. Through meaningful learning processes, biodynamic farming can develop not only the knowledge, but also the inner and outer skills much needed by new generations to confront the current and future challenges that climate change brings. These challenges, and the role of the biodynamic movement in addressing them, were presented and debated in depth at this year's Climate Crisis conference of the Section for Agriculture. The need for integrating climate change into the biodynamic training curriculum has also been addressed by experienced trainers within the movement.

Kai Lange from the
Biodynamic Agricultural College (UK), with colleagues, is currently re-structuring their “Diploma in Biodynamic Farming” to integrate climate change within all their teaching units, rather than developing specific climate change units. Based on this integrated curriculum, Kai and the team aim to address throughout the course key issues such as the resilience-building capacities of biodynamic practices, the potential of water and energy savings and GHG potential captures of biodynamic farms. The course focuses strongly on developing students’ inner skills and capacities to prepare them for a changing and uncertain future.
In Sweden, Daniel Björklund-Jonsson and Sofi Gerber have also adapted their
training curriculum for biodynamic gardening in the search for more accessible ways of approaching the challenges of climate change. Inspired by the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), they approach the complexities of farming systems and climate change, based on a broader but inclusive framework of understanding. The goals and indicators of the SDGs offer a platform for a more holistic and integrated perspective for their teaching program, to communicate the role of sustainable farming practices such as biodynamic agriculture.

In the face of the uncertainties of climate change, the British and Swedish examples are representative of a growing need for more holistic, integrated and flexible training approaches to address the challenges. The Federation acknowledges and aims to contribute to this need, by developing next year an inspiration manual with holistic exercises from teachers and trainers across the globe. These training exercises approach the student’s whole being (doing, feeling, thinking) to build and strengthen their inner and outer capacities to prepare for an uncertain future.

For more information, please contact Paz Bernaschina at:

Farm-Based Certification Model & PGS Scheme

Last month, Schirin Oeding presented to the Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) country group call her experiences of leading a farm-recognition certification project with Demeter producers in Germany. This pilot project has been running for four years and has more than 80 participating Demeter farms. The project will be extended to include processors too, and the whole pilot aims at an extension of two more years after the five year period is finished.
This pioneering project started with the question: how can we further develop the existing control system in order not only to meet the basic requirement for absolute and reliable quality control, but also to do justice to the individual development of our farms? The project supports farm development, working with the understanding that certification programs can be based on the motivation and trustworthiness of biodynamic farmers and processors. The farm recognition process consists of three parts: self-disclosure, policy checklist, and an extended farm development interview.
Similar to the farm talk, with which many have been familiar for years because it is already a mandatory part of the German Demeter certification, the core of recognition is a structured exchange among colleagues. In the German project this is called the extended farm development conversation. The project has many similarities to the PGS where the core element is also recognition through colleagues, with a focus on both verification and development
The Demeter-PGS certification scheme is based on the mutual trust and continuous collaboration of all those involved in the value chain for Demeter products, from farmers to consumers. The PGS-certified model strives to empower farming communities to develop the potential of each farm organism in harmony with their social-ecological surroundings, and aims to build resilient and regenerative farming communities, deep-rooted in a genuine desire for equality, respect and trust. It was clear from the presentation of Schirin that this striving is exactly the same.
The desire for more locally oriented, farm-centred, certification schemes is growing rapidly. The great interest in the German pilot project is an example of this need, and is also reflected in the widening presence of Demeter-PGS countries from Latin America, Africa and Asia. The conversations that emerged from Schirin’s presentation identified many similar goals and common challenges, and the need to build stronger connections between the two impulses for mutual collaboration and learning. A more detailed study is needed of what is exactly different and similar in practice. Hence, while there is much work to do in this area there is tremendous potential, and the first bridge was built between Demeter-PGS associations and the German initiative.
For more information on the PGS, please contact Petra Derkzen at

Animals on Farms

World Antimicrobial Awareness Week

This year’s World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) took place between November 18 to 24. The theme was ‘Spreading Awareness, Stopping Resistance’. Organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), and the World Health Organization (WHO), the WAAW aimed to increase knowledge about the rising problem of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and inspire action among a wide range of sectors, from health practitioners to policymakers.

700, 000 people die every year due to AMR, and the WHO declared AMR as one of the top ten health threats facing humanity. About 73% of global sales of antimicrobials, including antibiotics, are applied to livestock. There is an inextricable link between the preventive usage of antibiotics in industrial livestock systems and its consequence for public health. The routine overuse and misuse of antibiotics is necessitated in large-scale, stressful industrial agribusinesses that focus on animal growth promotion and feed efficiency.
Biodynamic farming prohibits the preventive use of antibiotics, regulates its usage for emergency treatments, and encourages complementary, and alternative medicinal strategies that strengthen the self-healing capacities of the animal. Biodynamic practices also apply low-stress health-oriented livestock management and
high animal welfare standards, that stimulate disease resistance (e.g. no dehorning for cows).

Hence, the Federation with its
strict rules on the use of antibiotics and high animal welfare standards fights the issue of AMR at its roots. Biodynamic farming provides sustainable solutions to a problem that we will be facing more urgently over the next decades.


For more information, please read this article published on the Federation's website.
For clarification questions, please feel free to contact Helene Schmutzler at:

Communication & Marketing
Visit the "Forest of Bananas"
New videos!

We invite you to watch our new beautiful videos about biodynamic banana farming (links to 2:15 min and 6:32 min videos below).

Let Victoria Bernier and Louis Hesselholt – biodynamic farmers at
Dominique farms in Santa Marta, Colombia – guide you around their farm, showing you how soil fertility matters is their top priority, how they work with preparations, and their cooperation with the indigenous community Arhuacos. Also, you learn about their way of working with sustainable methods rather than with plastic material. Enjoy this walk through a “forest of banana plants” with lots of biodiversity and the special atmosphere of this place.

Biodynamic banana farming in Colombia - Demeter (short version)

Biodynamic banana farming in Colombia - Demeter (long version)

The videos have been produced in a cooperation between the Federation and ABD Colombia. The film and photography producer Jonathan Alvarez is a local freelancer from Colombia.

Feel free to share and promote these videos, especially in countries with imports of Demeter bananas:
2 minutes:
6.5 minutes:

We would like our consumers to understand why Demeter bananas are special, and to introduce the biodynamic worldview and farming methods.
More info at:

Contact Katja for questions or comments at:
Communication & Marketing Workshop 
How to communicate biodynamics and Demeter - basic course

We warmly invite you to a workshop about services of BFDI for communication and marketing activities!

The meeting will take place 3 December, 2-3 pm CET on Zoom.
Join here:
This event is perfect for all those interested and active in communicating biodynamics and promoting the Demeter brand in their country – no matter if you are just about to start or if you have established communication/marketing. There will be time for questions and discussion.

For further information, please contact Katja Aßmann at:
Membership Committee
Annual reviews
Membership in the Federation

The Membership Committee of the Federation reviews, on a yearly basis, all the existing member organisations to appreciate the situation of the different organisations, to get to know each other better, and to see if the membership criteria are fulfilled. To this end, the Membership Committee invited each member organisation to proceed to an online annual review with the objective of strengthening the cohesion and collaboration within the Federation. The interview will take two different forms which will alternate every year for each member organisation:
  • Interview between a member organisation and a member of the membership committee and a member of the executive team
  • Partner interviews between two member organisations.
Before the Members’ Assembly, a series of annual reviews were already conducted with countries such as Austria, Egypt and Chile. As the feedback was very positive, the process was extended to all member organisations with the aim of concluding all reviews before the end of this year. So far, most annual reviews already took place and the process will continue next year with an alternation of the different review forms. Once it is finalised, the Membership Committee and the involved members of the executive team will assess the reviews and reflect upon the future process.
In the name of the Membership Committee, I would like to thank all member organisations for their collaboration. It is a great experience to meet all of you and to get a better understanding of each one of the organisations. It is also the perfect opportunity to create synergies by discussing how the Federation could further support the work of the members and how the members can contribute to the development of the Federation. The Committee looks forward to future fruitful exchanges and remains open to any potential feedback.
The Membership Committee: Thomas Schmid, Helen van Zyl, Jean-Michel Florin, Daphne Amory and Juan-Martin Richter
For further information, please contact Clara Behr at:
Policy and Public Relations
Training session on new GMOs
December 14th, 2 to 3.30 pm CET

The Lobby and Public Relations Committee of the Federation invites you to an instructive online training session on new GMOs, oriented towards campaigning on December 14 from 2 to 3.30 pm CET. 

We will focus on simple key messages with potential actions to foster campaigns on new GMOs and share with you some material available and ready to be used.  As part of the material a short briefing paper will be presented, as well as a mapping of the current worldwide situation.

Open to all members! Here is the link to access the Zoom meeting:

For more information, please contact Clara Behr at:
No Patents on Seeds!
A Call from NGOs


Agricultural companies continue to hold patents on conventionally-bred foods even though this is not allowed under European law. Similar patents have also been filed on animals. Implement existing prohibitions now to stop industrial agricultural companies from taking control of our food!
Our demand: A conference of the ministers from the contracting states of the European Patent Office (EPO) to be held within one year, which must take prompt action to implement effective measures to stop patents on conventional plant and animal breeding. All possible measures must be taken on both national and European level to stop patents on conventionally-bred plants and animals.

This must include prohibiting patents on the processes of crossing, selection and random mutations, as well as taking measures to prevent the extension of the scope of patents granted on genetic engineering techniques to plants and animals derived from conventional breeding.  

The scope of patents on plant and animal breeding needs to be restricted to the specific process of genetic engineering in order to make existing prohibitions effective. The Federation supports the petition for no patents on seeds and encourages this call for action.

Feel free to support
this petition and distribute it among your networks!

For any questions, please contact Clara Behr at:

Induction session on new GMOs
Summary & Materials

On November 22nd, the Federation and Slow Food Europe hosted an informative induction session entitled: “All you need to know about new GMOs and the industry’s plans to deregulate them”. It received a high level of interest: from 70 registrations, we welcomed 40 participants, including many members from our worldwide Federation network. A warm thank you to all the curious individuals who joined!

Firstly, Claire Robinson from GM Watch gave an overview of what new GMOs are, with their shortcomings, followed by a summary of how GMOs are currently regulated in the EU. Astrid Öterreicher from Testbiotech subsequently elaborated on the recent deregulation developments of new GMOs by the European Commission. This was followed by an engaging pro- and contra debate on new GMOs by Claire Robinson and Clara Behr. Lastly, Madeleine Coste from Slow Food provided practical information on how to prevent further deregulation efforts and how to get involved as an individual or NGO.

To access the powerpoint slides from the event, please click
To access the more detailed speaking notes of Claire Robinson, please click
To access the more detailed speaking notes of Astrid Österreicher, please click

Here is some further background reading for those interested:
Don’t hesitate to subscribe to GMWatch’s newsletters to be kept up to date with developments worldwide.

For further information, please contact Clara Behr at:
How to make Organic Plant Breeding mainstream
A report on the event in Brussels

On their 20th anniversary, organic plant breeders met in Brussels to discuss with stakeholders and policymakers the necessary changes to boost organic plant breeding to support the European Green Deal Strategy and climate change adaptation.
On November 9, the conference “How to make organic plant breeding mainstream” was organised by the
European Consortium for Organic Plant Breeding (ECO-PB) in close collaboration with IFOAM Organics Europe, Arche Noah, Biodynamic Federation Demeter International, the project Engagement.Biobreeding of the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL and hosted by FiBL Europe.

In total, 37 on-site and 69 online participants followed the exchange between organic breeders, seed savers, seed companies, competent authorities, offices entrusted with responsibility for the technical examination of varieties (examination offices), and policymakers on the potential for organic plant breeding to pave the way towards more sustainable and climate-resilient food systems.
 The results and impact of the EU LIVESEED project (2017-2021) on boosting organic seed and plant breeding were also presented. 

During the morning workshops, Clara Behr for the Federation stressed that the key points to make organic plant breeding mainstream are:

  • Supporting farmers in participatory breeding and seed production,
  • Funding organic breeding and breeding research,
  • Improving knowledge transfer and education.
The participants appreciated that with the new EU Organic Regulation (2018/848), for the first time, a legally binding definition for organic varieties suitable for organic production has been published, and a temporary experiment is foreseen to ease the market access of such varieties. Only parent material that complies with the organic principles, without genetic engineering techniques and ionising radiation, may be utilised.

The new EU organic regulation (2018/848) also introduces a new category for plant propagation material: organic heterogeneous material. The main benefit of this material is its evolving nature and adaptability to local conditions and diverse stresses. A legal basis and
delegated acts for the notification of organic heterogeneous material have been developed by the European Commission. Carl Vollenweider from the biodynamic farm Dottenfelder Hof in Germany stressed that the procedure for the implementation in each EU Member State should be supported, and synergies among examination offices should be used to support the development of organic heterogeneous material.

During the fishbowl discussion, it was stressed that we cannot continue business as usual with the challenges of climate change and the biodiversity crisis. The
regulation of conservation and amateur varieties and organic heterogeneous materials are the first steps in the right direction. The current revision process of the seed directives provides the opportunity to deliver unbureaucratic solutions.

For further information:

For any questions, please contact Clara Behr at:

News from the Section
The Spiritual Signature of Our Time in the Era of Coronavirus
The School of Spiritual Science
Ueli Hurter and Justus Wittich

What can we read in the fast-moving events of recent times? Is there a theme – a spiritual signature – that should be recognized and understood?

Following on from the book of essays Perspectives and Initiatives in the Times of Coronavirus, key figures from the School of Spiritual Science at the Goetheanum assess critical societal issues in a series of striking lectures. In the context of the continuing Covid-19 pandemic, the speakers address questions such as: ‘Are we making a religion out of science?’, ‘How is our behaviour mirrored in the ecosystem?’ and ‘What effects do inner work and meditation have on the healing powers of the human being?’ Offering scientific, artistic, historic and sociological viewpoints, their research is based on expert knowledge and practice in various disciplines such as medicine, agriculture and education. Uppermost in their analysis, however, is the spiritual dimension of the human being. The book also deals with misrepresentations and misinterpretations of anthroposophy.

The School of Spiritual Science, with its centre in Dornach, Switzerland, has eleven sections that are active internationally in research, development, teaching and practical implementation of findings. The work of each of the School’s sections seeks to develop anthroposophy – as founded by Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925) – in a contemporary context through the core disciplines of general anthroposophy, medicine, agriculture, pedagogy, natural science, mathematics and astronomy, literary and visual arts and humanities, performing arts and youth work.

Trans. by C. Howard; RSP; 210pp; 23.5 x 15.5 cm; pb;
Rudolf Steiner Press
ISBN 9781855845947

Quality and Quantity – Contradiction or Unity?

Improving the quality of food has been an important aim of biodynamic agriculture and the biodynamic food industry since their inception in 1924. Besides external quality, it was always important to develop an inner quality, "that organically furthered the human being's inner life".

During the 20th century, in parallel to the development of biodynamics, conventional agriculture focussed its efforts mainly on quantity and mass production, so that farms became ever larger and increasingly specialised. Agriculture should be capable of feeding the world, but the problem of hunger has still not been resolved – in fact quite the opposite. The focus on yield has led to a neglect of quality, which manifests not least in the rapid rise in nutritionally related illnesses. Since the start of the 21st century the call for quality has therefore grown ever louder. In their search for quality, more and more people are now becoming interested in organic and biodynamic agriculture, systems that are becoming increasingly well known due to the quality of their products and their environmental and climate-friendly approach. Biodynamic agriculture has entered a new developmental phase. In various countries biodynamic products have arisen from what is referred to as the "eco movement", because rising demand means that increasing numbers of large and specialised farms are converting to organic. This situation puts the spotlight more firmly on the question of the relationship between quality and quantity.
  • Does growth in quantity necessarily lead to a reduction in quality?
  • Or, how can biodynamic agriculture succeed in feeding people?
  • How can the balance between quality and quantity be maintained and how can we establish a healthy relationship between the two?
This topic will be examined particularly in the dual presentation by Jean-Michel Florin and Ueli Hurter at the start of the conference and in the contributions on the Thursday afternoon, as well as in the themed sessions on Friday afternoon.
Agriculture Conference 2022
Quality through biodynamics – perceive, experience, develop
2 – 5 February 2022 - at the Goetheanum and online

Successful first online course from the Section for Agriculture

The platform "Deepen Biodynamics" on the website of the Section for Agriculture at the Goetheanum has the goal of providing an interesting set of different online courses about the topic of biodynamics. The first course, with the topic “Biodynamics and Anthroposophy”, was launched on  November 15 and ends on December 8. The four-week course aims at deepening the knowledge of the participants in the background of biodynamics and the connection to Anthroposophy.

Each week the topics changed. In the first week the four kingdoms of nature, also in relation to the four bodies of man, were explained and introduced to the participants. Another profound topic was “the evolution of earth, cosmos and cultures”. Each week was also related to actualities happening right now with an input on “the challenges of our times” and how biodynamics can respond to them.

The online course seems to be a requested format in the biodynamic movement, just as in the wider world. Over 40 participants from all over the world signed up. Their backgrounds and their knowledge about biodynamics and anthroposophy were very heterogenous, from people who have just started to deepen their knowledge to very experienced people in biodynamics. The course was even translated simultaneously into Russian, as a group of 10 people from Ukraine participated.

The same course is planned in January 2022 together with students from the biodynamic course in Malaysia, organized by Demeter Malaysia. We are looking forward to an interesting exchange with the Southeast Asian country.

With pleasure we announce that further online course, deepening the topic of biodynamics, will be planned throughout the next year.
News from Member Organisations
News from China
Demeter China Association

Demeter China Association cooperated with Tianjin Tianzhen Garden to set up Tianzhen International Agriculture Institute and recruited 5 one-year students to learn biodynamic agriculture. On October 10 the new institute’s opening ceremony will take place.

On October 17 the 10th Members’ Assembly and board meeting of the Demeter China Association was held physically and online in Beijing Phoenix Biodynamic Farm. A new board was elected.
Beijing Phoenix Farm organized the yearly comprehensive Biodynamic Agriculture training from October 16 to 21 for the eleventh time. 13 trainees participated the session. The eldest trainee is an 81-year-old from Fujian Provence in the Southeast of China.
Demeter China Association organized the 3rd Autumn Biodynamic Preparations Practice Workshop in Tianjin Tianzhen Garden from October 21 to 24. This training session attracted 22 participants. 

Demeter China Association registered the International Biodynamic Training Center in Tianjin Tianzhen Garden on October 21.
Yunnan Dali Eryuan Biodynamic Garden organized an Autumn BD Preparations Practice Workshop  in Dali from November 16 to 17. All the participants are local Tibetan women.
The scientific project "Biodynamics in Poland 1924-2024"
In June 2021, a team led by Monika Rzeczycka, Ph.D., professor of the University of Gdansk, began research on the emergence and development of biodynamic agriculture in Poland and Eastern Europe. This unique project involves close cooperation between the Demeter-Polska Association and an international group of scientists representing different fields and disciplines, whose common goal became a comprehensive study of this first alternative form of farming. The starting point for this research was the assumption that the idea of biodynamics inspired both pre-war Polish culture and science, heralding the birth of thinking about ecological lifestyles.
The history of biodynamic agriculture in Poland, dating back to the late 1920s and early 1930s, is known only in fragments. But already at this stage it is a fascinating and at the same time inspiring story. Three years before the centenary of Rudolf Steiner's Agricultural Course at Koberwitz (Polish name Kobierzyce) we are intensifying our research to present the results not only to the biodynamic movement but also to international scientific bodies during the celebrations. Our country plays an important role in the history of the biodynamic movement. In Kobierzyce near Wroclaw, now located on Polish territory, Rudolf Steiner gave a series of lecture in 1924, which gave rise to biodynamic agriculture.

The establishment of the Stanislaw Karlowski Foundation at the beginning of the 21st century has contributed to the renewal of the Demeter movement in Poland. The impulse for its establishment came from Dr. Manfred Klett, an exceptional figure in the world biodynamic movement. He also proposed that a pioneer of Polish biodynamic agriculture should be its patron.

Stanislaw Karlowski actively popularised the biodynamic movement between 1930 and 1939. As a member of the Experimental Circle of Anthroposophical Farmers (Versuchsring anthroposophischer Landwirte) from January 1930, he was responsible for the development of the biodynamic method in Poland. He converted his farm in Szelejewo to biodynamics. His 1,760 hectare estate, which existed until 1939, was then the largest biodynamic farm in the world. Unfortunately, during the Second World War almost all Polish biodynamicists were killed, only Janusz Suski* survived, who after being forced to leave his estate in Polesie, settled in the Karkonosze, where he farmed until his death in 1960.

In the same year, Julian Osetek, M.Sc. chemist and anthroposophist by avocation, started to manage his 3ha farm in Naklo nad Notecia using the biodynamic method. At the beginning of the 1980s, with the rise of the Solidarity movement, it was possible to speak and publish about alternative agriculture again. His farm became the subject of numerous articles, which began the popularization of biodynamics. Julian Osetek travelled the country giving lectures, distributing biodynamic preparations, and in 1984 undertook the translation and publication of the biodynamic calendar "Sowing days" by Maria Thun, which is still published today.

From 1981 Professor Mieczyslaw Gorny from the Warsaw University of Life Sciences became involved in promoting biodynamic agriculture. In the  mid-1980s, Dorota Metera joined the ranks of the biodynamic promoters, publishing widely read articles in the weekly magazine for rural women. She is to this day an active promoter of biodynamic agriculture and an important figure in the Polish and international organic farming movement.

In January 1984 a course on Biodynamic Farming was given in Warsaw by Dr. Christian von Wistinghausen from the German organisation Demeter, which is the beginning of the revival of the organic farming movement and the founding of an organisation of organic farmers in Poland – the EKOLAND Association.

Most organic farmers certified at the beginning of the 1990s declared to use the biodynamic method, which should not come as a surprise, since the first courses in organic farming were mainly given by biodynamicists from Germany and Switzerland. In the following years fewer and fewer farmers became interested in the biodynamic method, although attempts were still made to set up an organisation for its supporters.

However, it was only in April 2005, on the initiative of Dr. Barbara Szymańska-Kowalkowska, a promoter of Rudolf Steiner's thought and of biodynamic agriculture, and a member of the Council of Founders of the Stanisław Karłowski Foundation at that time, that the founding meeting of the Demeter-Polska Association was held, and on 13 May the organisation was given legal status.
The Foundation, continuing the work of its patron, Stanislaw Karlowski, gave impetus to the revival of the biodynamic movement in our country. The Demeter-Polska Association from the beginning benefited from its kindness and support. The unstable financial situation of the organisation caused a gradual cessation of its activities until it completely stagnated. The revival of activity took place again in 2017. For one year, the headquarters of the Demeter-Polska Association is located in the building of the Foundation in Juchowo. This facilitates daily cooperation and implementation of common goals. One of the latest intentions is to create an international centre for biodynamic education. Demeter-Poland strongly supports this concept, hoping that it will contribute to the popularisation of the biodynamic movement not only in Poland, but also in other countries, especially in Eastern Europe.

The best demonstration of the work of the Stanisław Karlowski Foundation is the Rural Project which is carried out in the villages of Juchowo, Kądzielnia and Radacz with the aim of creating a local agri-culture based on biodynamic agriculture. These far-reaching aims are realised on a model biodynamic farm with 1,600 ha of cultivated land where research, pedagogical, educational and cultural activities are carried out and where disabled people can find employment. Other important activities include the preservation of natural biodiversity and environmental protection. In addition, courses in biodynamic preparations have been held on the farm for several years, which are very popular with students of biodynamics, and serve to integrate the community of biodynamic farmers.

Paweł BietkowskiWaldemar Fortuna, Demeter-Polska
* Janusz Suski (1881-1960), Polish landowner, farmed using the biodynamic method on his property already in the 1920s. More:
United Kingdom
Let’s talk about packaging!
The question of food packaging is becoming more urgent especially in light of the current climate and environmental crisis. The Biodynamic Federation Standards Committee recently considered this, with the suggestion that packaging of Demeter products is discussed in depth at the 2022 Members Assembly.
To prepare for that meeting, a small international working is being set up. What should be the goal for packaging Demeter products that would ensure the best quality, as well as meeting hygiene and environmental requirements? Biodynamic farming is concerned with healing the earth. How does that fit with packaging that sometimes goes against that and adds to waste that cannot easily be integrated?
A lot of research work has already been carried out and many companies have been hard at work developing environmentally friendly options. It would be important to integrate this into the group’s work.
The online working group will:
  • Review the current packaging section in the Demeter standards.
  • Collate and share research and developments by manufacturers.
  • Report back to the Standards Committee with updates.
  • Prepare the discussion for the MA in 2022.
Please contact me if you feel you can contribute, either through participating in the group or by offering useful information:  

Richard Swann for the BDA UK
News from the World

Outcome of the COP26
We need to speak about the ‘cow’ in the room

The UK, in partnership with Italy, hosted the 26th United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow from the 31st of October to the 12th of November. The COP26 aimed to unite parties to formulate concrete climate action to fulfil the goals set under the legally binding Paris Agreement 2015 and the UN 1994 Framework Convention on Climate Change.

However, the outcome of the COP26 leaves a lot to be desired. With the commitments made at the conference, the 1.5 degree Celsius goal from the
Paris Agreement will not be fulfilled. Moreover, the COP26 had weak ambitions to only “phase down” fossil fuels (instead of “phasing out”) and lacked a coherent strategy to support countries that will be hit hardest by climate change.

Also, regarding agriculture, the COP26 fell short. As Shane Holland, executive director of Slow Food UK
said: “There can be no real transition towards sustainable food systems without a policy of financing agroecological systems that follows binding targets, which is completely missing from the COP26 final declaration”. One tangible outcome  is the first global commitment to cut methane emissions by at least 30% below 2020 levels by 2030 – the so-called “Global Methane Pledge” pushed for by the EU and USA. A total of 103 countries committed to the pledge, accounting for 46% of global methane emissions. This includes several cattle-rich countries, like Brazil, Canada, and New Zealand. Yet, other key players, such as China, India, Australia, and Russia, decided to opt out of the pledge.

The pledge was welcomed by environmental campaigners. The EU Farmers association COPA-COGECA, on the other hand, criticized the binding measures and reduction targets: “Given their on-the-ground realities, farmers should be given the discretion to choose which are the best practices and measures to implement”.
For more information on the COP26, please check out the UNCCC’s official website.
For any questions, please feel free to contact Helene Schmutzler at:
New GMO Developments in Brazil
Release of transgenic wheat flour

On November 11, the Brazilian National Technical Biosafety Commission (CTNBio), unanimously decided  to release the sale of HB4 transgenic wheat flour, produced in Argentina. This will be the first product with genetically modified wheat marketed in the world.
The request for approval was presented by the company Tropical Improvement & Genetics (TMG), which asked for permission to import transgenic wheat developed by Argentina's Bioceres in partnership with the French company Florimond Desprez. The process of approval took two years and eight months.
Drought tolerant and resistant to glufosinate-ammonium poison, the HB4 variety was released using the
argument that there will be "increased productivity in situations and environments of low water availability, (...) for exclusive use in food, feed or derived or processed products."
The Brazilian Wheat Industry Association (Abitrigo) was against the release of the technology. Entities such as the Permanent Campaign Against Pesticides and for Life and the Biodiversity Working Group (GT) of the National Coordination of Agroecology (ANA) sent an official letter to the Federal Public Ministry (MPF) criticizing the lack of transparency in the assessment process at CTNBio.

For more information on this in English-language, please consult these two newspaper articles by GM Watch & Tridge News.

For more information on this in Portuguese, please consult this article by
Brazil de Fato.

For any questions, please feel free to contact Helene Schmutzler at:
A biodynamic guide to food quality
The biodynamic researcher Jens-Otto Andersen has written a book 'A Biodynamic Guide to Food Quality'. It is intended especially for young people in the biodynamic movement, as an overview of biodynamic agriculture and the key questions of food quality.

The book can be ordered at the homepage of the Danish Biodynamic Research Association: It can also be downloaded for free as a pdf-version from December 15.
The Biodynamic Federation is donating to support IFOAM!

We will pay our membership fee twice this year and are strongly encouraging our members to do the same.  As a sister organisation in the world, IFOAM has vital work to do and must continue to see its 50th year. Please donate today if you can!

If you would like more information please contact:
International Contacts
Biodynamic Federation Demeter International

General Secretary
Christoph Simpfendörfer
ph: +49 711 40049551

Executive Board
Alysoun Bolger
ph: + 44 1453 766296
Cornelia Hauenschild
ph: +45 874269 90

Certification Assistant - Europe, Asia, Africa
Ute Bucholski
ph: +49 6155 8469 902

Certification Assistant - Latin America
Juan Sebastian Buzzio Sagasti
ph: + 54 336 4450 332

Accreditation Council & Standards
Sebastian Fuchs
ph: +49 176 24308624

Raw Materials Coordination
Aurelie Truffat
ph: +33 450 357 440
Research, Training and Advisory 
Dr. Petra Derkzen
ph: +49 1520 9543662

Katja Aßmann
ph: +49 30 24339759

Policy and Public Relations
Clara Behr
ph: +32 493140455

Sarah Fischer 
ph: + 49 711 4004 9550

Communications Assistant
Anette Jorry
ph: +49 6155 8469 901

Section for Agriculture   Goetheanum

Heads of Section
Ueli Hurter & Jean-Michel Florin
ph: +41 61706 4212

More news from the Federation on our website and social media:
Demeter - International
Thanks to all our readers and authors for their interest. The next newsletter will be published in January 2022. If you would like to submit any articles, please send your contributions to:
Copyright © Biodynamic Federation Demeter International e.V.
Responsible: Clara Behr & Christoph Simpfendörfer

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