Biodynamic Federation – Demeter International is the body, based in Germany, which oversees Demeter Biodynamic certification worldwide for all crops, not just for wine. Demeter certification was first granted in 1928 for coffee in Mexico (Richard Swann: 2019 Jan, p.3). There was no such thing as organic farming at this time, but farming to nationally recognised organic standards is now a pre-requisite for Demeter certification.
Demeter is the only ecological association that has built up a network of individual certification organisations world-wide. In 1997 Demeter-International was founded for closer co-operation in the legal, economic and spiritual spheres. The joint organization which is now the Biodynamic Federation – Demeter International has 45 member organizations in 36 countries working for the Biodynamic impulse. 19 are certifying organizations. In all other countries, the International Certification Office (ICO) is certifying. Actually there are a 6.400 Demeter farmers with almost 210.000 hectares in 62 countries.
Staff: General Secretary: Christophe Simpfendorfer. | International Standards: Ian Henderson.
Demeter International Members
Demeter Österreich in Austria. | Association Demeter France in France. | Demeter e.V. in Germany. | Demeter Associazione per la Tutela della Qualità Biodinamica in Italia in Italy. | Bio Dynamic Farming and Gardening Association in NZ Inc. in New Zealand. | Zdruzenje Demeter Slovenija in Slovenia. | Demeter Schweiz in Switzerland. | Biodynamic Association Certification in the United Kingdom. | Demeter Association, Inc. in the United States.
The above undertake Biodynamic certification to the Demeter standard in their country, being accredited for this by Demeter International. In Argentina, Chile, the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Portugal and South Africa an accredited third-party certifier will be asked to perform both the baseline organic certification and subsequent biodynamic certification to Demeter International e.V.’s Biodynamic standard. In Australia the Demeter trademark is privately owned by the Bio-Dynamic Research Institute which is not and has never been part of Demeter International.
The Biodynamic & Demeter Trademarks
Demeter International (DI) undertakes trademark protection for the Demeter and Biodynamic trademarks, and for trademarks which are similar. Christophe Simpfendorfer (in Swann 2016, p.42) says ‘some trademark registration authorities consider the term Biodynamic as being descriptive and generic. Therefore they refused the registration. On the other hand, we own some trademarks that have already allowed us to oppose successfully some registrations by third parties.’
Challenges: Asked (in Swann 2016, p.43) what the challenges are General Secretary Christophe Simpfendorfer is quoted as saying that as well as the ‘struggle to keep diversity on our farms, the main challenge will be to find enough young people to carry on our ideals of a real sustainable agriculture. We need new ownership solutions and new ways of sharing responsibilities on farms so that the next generation can find a balance between work, family and personal development.’
Richard Swann, Interview with Christoph Simpfendorfer, General Secretary of Demeter International, Star and Furrow, Issue 125, July 2016 p.42-43.
Richard Swann, Star and Furrow, Issue 130, January 2019 p.3.
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