IFOAM - International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements
Since 1972, IFOAM - Organics International has occupied an unchallenged position as the only international umbrella organization of the organic world, uniting an enormous diversity of stakeholders contributing to the organic vision.
Day by day we are taking the world a step closer to the mainstream uptake of Organic Agriculture.
At the heart of IFOAM - Organics International are its 800 Affiliates in more than 100 countries. In order to unify, lead and assist this a broad-based constituency in a fair, inclusive and participatory manner, IFOAM - Organics International organizes a General Assembly every three years.
At every General Assembly, a World Board is elected to chart IFOAM - Organics International's course and to appoint Affiliates to official committees, working groups and task forces on topics like the development of standards or the facilitation of Organic Agriculture in developing countries.
IFOAM - Organics International member organizations also establish alliances based on regional and sector specific priorities, called Regional Bodies and Sector Platforms, respectively.
The humble beginnings of IFOAM - Organics International trace back to a meeting in Versailles, France in 1972. Roland Chevriot of Nature et Progrès envisioned the need for Organic Agriculture movements to coordinate their actions and to enable scientific and experimental data on organic to cross borders. In order to realize this vision, he invited organic pioneers including Lady Eve Balfour, founder of the UK Soil Association, Kjell Arman from the Swedish Biodynamic Association and Jerome Goldstein from the Rodale Institute to join him in Versailles to set the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) in motion.
Organic Agriculture is much more than just a way to naturally treat soil, plants and animals. It is a holistic paradigm for sustaining life on earth, the groundwork for which was laid by a handful of pioneers with the courage and foresight to openly challenge industrialized agriculture as early as the 1920s.
One of the founders of IFOAM - Organics International, Lady Eve Balfour, said that the characteristics of truly sustainable agriculture can be summed up by the word "permanence". Here you can find out more about the progressive lives and writings of Lady Balfour and her fellow pioneers.
Despite notable achievements and an ever-growing organic sector, financial restrictions pose a constant challenge to our work. Resourcefulness has become one of our key survival tools.
With drive and determination, however, we continue to bring the ideas initially articulated in Versailles to the tables of international stakeholders; in these efforts we actively work with United Nations organizations such as FAO, IFAD and UNFCCC, as well as directly with governments of numerous countries.
Undeterred by financial and other challenges, we remain committed to leading, uniting and assisting the organic movement in its full diversity.