Biodynamic agriculture shows steady global growth
by Dr John Paull
New figures released by Demeter-International reveal the steady global growth of biodynamic agriculture. Certified biodynamic hectares are up 2% (from 144,497 to 147,495 hectares), biodynamic processors are up 5% (from 456 to 478), and biodynamic distributors are up 3% (from 185 to 190).
The number of countries with Demeter-International certified biodynamic activity increased from 48 to 52. Croatia and Peru enter the list with newly reported biodynamic farms, and Bulgaria and Ukraine enter the list with new biodynamic distributors.
There is considerable volatility in the statistics, with most countries reporting changes in the statistics for 2012 compared to the previous year. The three leading countries, based on biodynamic hectares, are Germany (with 66,991 hectares, up 1%), Italy (8,688 ha., up 6%), and France (8,100 ha., up 8%).
Germany has the most biodynamic farms (1420), the most biodynamic processors (195), and the most biodynamic distributors (62). The largest percentage increases in biodynamic hectares were recorded by Spain (up 157% to 2128 ha.), Ecuador (up 115% to 236 ha.), and South Africa (up 96% to 157 ha.).
The total number of biodynamic farms decreased 16% (from 5615 to 4733) with the biggest declines reported by Tunisia (down 23% to 1,560 farms) and India (down 19% to 5,882 farms). Biodynamic agriculture is based on Rudolf Steiner’s agricultural lectures which were delivered, in German, in the small village of Koberwitz (Kobierzyce, Poland) in 1924. Steiner indicated that this was an agriculture for all farmers.
Demeter-International report the figures from all the biodynamic farms covered by their own certification. This underestimates the total world biodynamic activity since some countries, for example Australia, are not covered by Demeter-International certification, and some biodynamic farmers are certified ‘organic’ (rather than ‘biodynamic’) while some others are not certified at all.
Data source: www.demeter.nethttp://www.demeter.net/
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