IAHA - Animal Husbandry Alliance

IAHA is an informal network of individuals and organizations interested in inspiring, supporting and strengthening the development of organic animal husbandry. It is the animal husbandry 'think tank' of the IFOAM Action Group.


The IFOAM General Assembly in Korea in October 2011 recommended that animal husbandry be given more emphasis in IFOAM through a worldwide platform to address animal health and welfare, breeding techniques, feeding (e.g. roughage versus concentrates) and related issues.

A group of interested individuals, supported by the IFOAM World Board, then began to organize and, at the end of November 2012, the IFOAM Animal Husbandry Alliance (IAHA) became approved by the IFOAM World Board.


IAHA allows IFOAM Affiliates to share organic animal husbandry knowledge, concerns, positions, and issues and integrate them into the work of IFOAM and the organic movement. Its contributions include, but are not limited to:

  • Inputs for IFOAM norms developments and IFOAM position papers;
  • Contributions to IFOAM’s advocacy for organic livestock and livestock keepers;
  • Inputs for the stakeholders of the organic movement, e.g. national organizations, certification bodies, research institutions, communicators, policy setters etc.
  • Facilitation of learning for national organic sectors and actors that want to improve their organic animal husbandry development.

Working forums

IAHA has established working forums on specific issue areas, Since June 2014 a discussion group on animal breeding for organic farming has started a lively dialogue. Other discussion forums are in preparation for example: animal welfare, sustainable health care for animals or the use of medicinal plants in animal health care. Each working forum defines its terms of reference, objectives, participants and work plan. The IAHA core group compiles the results of the working forums and makes them available to interested parties.

Want to take part? Send an email to iaha [at] ifoam.org. You will then get a password to get access to the internal IAHA Moodle system.

Participation at conferences

The inaugural meeting of what became the IAHA occurred during the IFOAM Animal Husbandry Conference, September 2012, in Hamburg. At the conference, a questionnaire was distributed to participants to gather animal husbandry concerns in different parts of the world. See the results of the first IAHA questionnaire.

IAHA organized several activities during the 18th IFOAM Organic Wolrd Congress OWC in Istanbul, October 12-15 2014. Below IAHA Board members (from left to right): Chris Atkinson (UK), Mahesh Chander (India), Angela Escosteguy (Brazil), Otto Schmid (Switzerland) and François Labelle (Canada):

IAHA organized an OWC pre-conference on organic animal husbandry and a workshop session, where the focus was on drafting an International Action Plan for the development and strengthening of Organic Animal Husbandry from 2014-2017. The proceedings and outcomes of the IAHA Pre-conference and workshop session at OWC can be downloaded from here: 

Steering group

  • Otto Schmid ( Switzerland): otto.schmid [at] fibl.org
  • Angela Escosteguy (Brazil): angela [at] ibembrasil.org
  • Chris Atkinson (UK): catkinson [at] soilassociation.org
  • Mahesh Chander (India): mahesh64 [at] email.com
  • François Labelle (Canada): flabelle [at] valacta.com

IAHA Newsletters

Want to get involved? Simply fill out the IAHA-Questionnaire to join the community and receive IAHA's newsletters.