The new beekeeping platform officially started at the end of July when the contract between IFOAM and the Apiculture Forum was signed. At its constitutive meeting in April 2015 Apicon, Coopsol, Demeter, Ecosur, FiBL and Naturland, elected Manfred Fürst, team leader of the international department of the organic association Naturland, as group co-ordinator.
The main aim of the IFOAM Apiculture Forum is to advance the development of organic beekeeping and to encourage the traditional practices employed by sustainable beekeeping. The tasks to be tackled are many and various. One of them is to expand the current organic beekeeping standards, which so far have concentrated on quality aspects of honey and other beekeeping produce, to give added weight to the species-appropriate needs of bees. At a time when beekeepers the world over are suffering from the severe depletion of their bee colonies, the forum also sees its job as a lobby and platform designed to raise awareness of the need to combat practices that damage the environment and are harmful to bees and, last but not least, to guarantee beekeepers a sustainable source of income.
- to be a platform for discussion and exchange of ideas on how to improve the health and vitality of bees and the further development of organic beekeeping standards
- to promote organic beekeeping through local or international events such as the bee-keeping conference to be held in 2016 in Argentina
- to enhance the awareness of bees and their positive impact on the organic agriculture sector (e.g. pollination, income generation, etc.)
- to launch development strategies for the organic beekeeping sector (studies, research concepts etc.)
- to include all forms of beekeeping, including indigenous, wild and traditional apiculture practice systems
The first major task for the forum will be the organization of the World Conference on Organic Beekeeping. It will be held between 6th and 10th September, 2016, in Argentina, and managed jointly with APIMONDIA, the International Federation of Beekeepers’ Associations, and Coopsol, the Argentinian beekeeping co-operative.
In the words of Manfred Fürst, co-ordinator of the IFOAM Apiculture Forum, “Argentina is one of the world’s leading producers of GMO crops, so we shall obviously have to deal with the problems caused by genetic contamination. We will though also focus on the contribution which organic beekeeping makes to rural areas and I am confident that this will galvanize the organic movement in Argentina.”
The impetus for the establishment of this new forum came from the World Conference in Mexico in 2012. The success with which this jointly organised event was met, motivated ECOSUR, Naturland and FiBL to create a formal institution uniting efforts to promote organic beekeeping throughout the world.
BioFach Nürnberg 2016
During the annual BioFach Messe in Nürnberg 2016 the IFOAM Apiculture Forum presented the following topic: How the IFOAM Organic Beekeeping Group wants to save the honey bees and foster the development of the organic beekeeping worldwide - Concepts and fundamental issues.
Below you can see all presentations that were given during this event:
- Dr. Salvador Garibay 1._intro_to_organic_beekeeping.pdf
- Ullrich Bröcker 2._why_apiculture.pdf
- Thomas Cierpka 3._ifoam_-_organics_international_overview.pdf
- Manfred Fürst 4._lobbying_for_apiculture.pdf
- Bernadette Oehen 5._farmers_and_beekeepers_-_case_study_switzerland.pdf
- Günther Friedman 6._organic_beekeeping_and_biodiversity.pdf
Manfred Fürst, Naturland e.V., E-mail info [at] apiculture.ifoam.bio
Uli Bröker, Apicon, E-mail: uli.broeker [at] vilstal.net
Günter Friedmann, Demeter, E-mail: imkerei-friedmann [at] t-online.de
Peter Gänz, Naturland e.V., E-Mail: p.gaenz [at] naturland.de
Salvador Garibay, Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) – Switzerland, E-mail: salvador.garibay [at] fibl.org
René Sayago, Coopsol, Argentina, E-mail: renesayago [at] coopsol.com.ar
Remy Vandame, El Colegio de la Frontera Sur, Mexico, E-mail: abejas [at] ecosur.mx; remy.vandame [at] gmail.com