Bio Suisse turns 40 this year – for the five founders, this is cause for celebration and a moment to review four successful decades. The Association of Swiss Organic Farming Organizations (VSBLO) was founded on September 1, 1981 in the context of setting common standards for organic farming, and has since become the leading organic farming organization in Switzerland under the name Bio Suisse. The organization represents the interests of more than 7,400 companies in the field of organic farming and horticulture and has licensing agreements with more than 1,100 processing and trading companies.
Presenting the carved wooden bench of the founding organizations FiBL, Biofarm, Bioterra, Demeter and Progana to Bio Suisse on their 40th anniversary, as a reminder of their journey together. (Photo: FiBL, Andreas Basler)
Biofarm, the Producers Association for Biodynamic Agriculture, Bioterra (then SGBL), Progana and FiBL founded the Swiss Organic Farming Organizations Association (VSBLO) – now Bio Suisse – in 1981. On the occasion of the anniversary, Hans-Ulrich Held (Biofarm President), Bettina Hollenstein (Director Co-Demeter), Martina Segerst (Head of Bioterra), Kurt Zimmermann (Director of Progana) Knut Schmidtke (Director of FiBL Switzerland) in Basel Gift to Bio Suisse and together think of the historic landmark of the Swiss organic movement.
Various groups gathered
Until the creation of VSBLO, there were many biological groups in Switzerland that were hardly in contact with each other and did not jointly advocate for their movement in the political arena. Only the development of common guidelines has united the different movements. At the time, FiBL’s biological advisor, Otto Schmid, who had been involved in the process for many years, and Werner Scheidegger, co-chaired VSBLO’s first president. Now they look at the development with pride: “The common standards established from 1976 to 1980 brought together the different biological groups and resulted in in 1981 a strong association that made the biological movement in Switzerland and internationally a necessary weight that did not exist previously,” says Otto Schmid.
Bettina Hollenstein, Co-Director of Demeter, also emphasized the importance of the cohesion of the organic movement in her speech: “Forty years ago, as today, the five founding organizations pursued a common goal: to promote organic farming in Switzerland. We can be proud that Bio Suisse has developed To become a powerful driver of this goal and that we will continue to work together towards organic farming.”
For more information: www.bio-suisse.ch
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