Organics increasing in Switzerland
The number of companies that are certified with the Bud label in Switzerland is still increasing: 5,979 producers were working according to the guidelines of Bio Suisse in 2014 – a plus of 95 on 2013. The organic sector was growing too. Total turnover of organically produced and processed goods reached SFR 2.207 bn (€2.111bn), a growth of SFR154 or 7.5% on the previous year. Over 160 companies have newly registered at Bio Suisse as of 1 January 2015. Since 2010, the number of organic companies has been growing by approx. 2% year on year since 2010, Bio Suisse reports. In Switzerland, the current market share for organic produce is around 7%. This was revealed at the annual Bio Suisse delegate assembly in April that was attended by more than 200 organic farmers from throughout Switzerland.
Hans Herren (picture) of Biovision was the guest speaker at the assembly. “If we are to create sustainable and productive farming systems, the organic sector must become more assertive. Annual growth of 2% is not enough: even after 50 years we would still be someway short of what is needed,” said Herren emphatically. “We already have some promising systems but we need to identify synergies and use them. Animals belong on the farm, nutrient cycles must be closed loops, ecosystem services such as natural pollination have to be supported and the defence mechanisms in plants need to be strengthened,” continued Herren. The use of agrochemicals and the increasing focus on high-output crops run counter to these natural regulatory mechanisms. “How much more evidence is needed to demonstrate that neonicotinoids kill bees?” asked Herren. To avoid even greater damage to the environment, the natural world, humans and animals, we urgently need to accelerate this shift in global agriculture. It would only require 2 % of the global Gross Domestic Product,” said Herren. The three pilot countries of Kenya, Ethiopia and Senegal in which Biovision is encouraging agro-ecological methods have shown that this shift is possible. More information is available here.
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