special exhibition at BIOFACH for plant breeding

Green pea seedlings on fertile soil.

Organic right from the start

For the first time at BIOFACH 2018, a special show called "Meeting point Organic right from the start" will illustrate what organic breeding has already achieved and what is going to be important in the future.

The aim of the BIOFACH special show is to demonstrate what organic breeding has achieved to date and where further development work is still needed so that organic farming can continue to maintain its independence in plant and animal breeding in terms of varieties and breeds, in the future. The content is designed by bioverita and bundles numerous breeding initiatives, including the IFOAM Seed Platform.

Organic breeding for independent organic farming

For organic farming, plant breeding is of paramount importance. Markus Johann, CEO of bioverita, says, "Organic farmers depend on varieties that produce good results without the support of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Varieties that meet the requirements of organic farming and organic producers are far from being available for all crops. And where they are available, it is far from certain that this will continue to be the case in the future. 

"Through the work of the organic breeders, the independence of the organic movement is promoted and a counterpoint is set against the increasing power concentration of the seed multinationals.“

"An important component of a sustainable way of thinking are varieties that have been specially bred for organic farming," Johann continues. The varieties from organic breeding should result not only in high and stable yields. They must be able to transform the restricted nutrients in the soil very efficiently into the best possible quality, have a high resistance to diseases and pests, yield good straw yield, form strong roots and exhibit good processing and baking quality. For this reason, the development of new varieties that combine excellent quality with the best suitability for organic farming is of great importance.

Organic in animal breeding

For livestock independent organic breeding is also essential for the organic sector. Markus Johann says, ”In the case of cattle, female animals in particular are already being bred on organic farms. Ruminants are perfectly developed for the digestion of cellulose and for outdoor grazing. Organic cattle breeding therefore focuses on good grazing ability, animal health and longevity."

The sector is also working intensively and successfully on alternatives to existing methods for chickens. The first breeding approaches, for example to completely prevent the killing of male chicks in the organic sector, have been realised by the ökologische Tierzucht gGmbH, an initiative of the organic farming associations Bioland and demeter.

"Our common goal is to make organic breeding more well-known and visible - also on the market. Consistent implementation of the organic concept is becoming increasingly important to consumers. One of our major tasks is to bring the topic closer to the consumers in an understandable way," emphasizes Amadeus Zschunke, the Bioverita President, who is also Managing Director of Sativa-Rheinau AG.

Breeding initiatives and organisations at the special show 'Meeting point Organic right from the start':

  • Apfel:gut Fruit breeding
  • Bingenheimer Saatgut AG
  • bioverita – for Organic right from the start
  • Ellenberg’s Kartoffelvielfalt GbR
  • European Consortium for organic plant breeding (ECO-PB)
  • European Consortium for organic animal breeding (ECO-AB)
  • Forschungsinstitut für biologischen Landbau (FiBL)
  • Forschung & Züchtung Dottenfelder Hof - LBS e.V. Getreidezüchtung Peter Kunz Getreidezüchtungsforschung Darzau
  • IFOAM Seed Platform
  • Keyserlingk-Institut
  • Kultursaat e.V.
  • Ökologische Tierzucht gGmbH Poma Culta Apple Breeding ReinSaat KG
  • Saat:gut e.V.
  • Sativa Rheinau AG
  • Zukunftsstiftung Landwirtschaft – Saatgut- und Tierzuchtfonds

Find out more in the complete press release

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