History

BioFach 1997World Board 2003IFOAM logo 1983

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. See Roland Chevriot's invitation letter.

Organic Without BoundariesRead more about the early years of IFOAM - Organics International in our retrospective publication “Organic without Boundaries”.

Organic Pioneers

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. 

Looking Ahead

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.

Invest in an organic future.
Find out more about IFOAM — Organics International.
Short biographies of the movement's founders.