The organic associations Naturland (Germany) and Bio Suisse (Switzerland) will collaborate more closely in their international activities in the future. The collaboration focuses on sustainable water management and social responsibility, two aspects central to a comprehensive understanding of sustainability that goes beyond the legal requirements of organic farming.
Balz Strasser (left) and Stephen Reese (right). Photo: Frederic Mayer.
“Scarce water resources is a global problem exacerbated by climate change. Global challenges can only be successfully addressed together. Therefore, it is an important signal that Bio Suisse and Naturland, with their importance in global organic agriculture, are now uniting” says Stephen Rees, General Manager of Naturland, about cooperation.
Balz Strasser, Director of Bio Suisse: “The strategic partnership with Naturland will take control of social conditions on our international farms to a new level. In addition, our associations will work together to advance labor and social issues in organic farming.”
Guidelines for sustainable water management
With regard to sustainable water management, the two organizations have harmonized their existing guidelines and developed a joint water management plan for certified farms in areas with scarce water resources. In addition, a common guideline has been developed to serve as a practical tool for agricultural companies to improve their water management. The aim is to ensure that this natural resource is used in moderation and to raise awareness of the increasingly acute water shortage.
In this way, the farmer can understand and meet the standards set by Naturland and Bio Suisse for organic farming in areas where water resources are scarce. The guide will initially be published in five languages (German, English, Spanish, Italian and French). Further joint developments in this field are also planned.
Joint training of inspectors
Naturland has been a leader in social responsibility for nearly 20 years, with the association also monitoring working conditions for all employees on certified farms according to its own standards. As part of the collaboration, Bio Suisse will implement this control system developed by Naturland and thus significantly improve its control mechanisms. The two groups are also planning joint training activities for inspectors and additional closely coordinated development of activities and standards.
Naturland and Bio Suisse are carriers and guarantors of high-quality organic standards (Naturland / Naturland Fair and Knospe) that go beyond legislation on organic production and, for example, are also a leader in biodiversity and animal welfare. Naturland and Bio Suisse cooperate internationally with several thousand organic producers and in this way promote organic farming beyond their national borders.
Brun: Naturland / Bio Suisse
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