107 Organic farming needs soil We d love to process more organic herbs from Germany And yet it s in extremely short supply because not enough of it is being farmed here This is why Lebensbaum is a mem ber of the cooperative BioBoden Genossenschaft founded in 2015 and has subscribed to cooperative shares totalling 10 000 euros The cooperative has its roots in the GLS Treu hand and the GLS Bank The BioBoden cooperative extends plots for organic farming thus providing for more regionally produced organic food stuffs There are many reasons for regional organic produce being in short supply but they can primarily be explained by taking a look at the state of farming itself on the one hand many farms have to give up each year because there is no one to take over the business Or organic farmers move back to conventional farming This means that organic sur faces are squandered Purchasing Wanted organic farmers In Germany demand has been growing for years for organic produce although at the same time fewer and fewer farmers are converting to organic farming This means that more and more organic raw materials have to be imported even though they could be grown in Germany At the same time many consumers want to buy locally sourced organic produce This is why since 2015 Alnatura has been supporting farmers who choose to convert to organic farming The Alnatura Bio Bauern Initiative Alnatura Organic Farmers Initiative launched by Prof Götz Rehn the founder and CEO of Alnatura donates at least 400 000 euros per year to NABU s the German Nature and Biodiversity Con servation Union initiative to support the expansion of organic fields Lebensbaum contributes 100 000 euros to the initiative The contribution was doubled by Leben baum s main owner the AUWA Holding see page 20 This all aims to make it easier for those engaged in conventional farming to convert to organic farming After all it s not always easy for farmers to move from conventional to organic prod ucts since the prices for arable land and leased land have skyrocketed in recent years What s more producers have to wait many months or years before they can sell their products as organic produce This conversion period means they are facing high levels of initial investments while still getting the prices for conventional pro duce Since 2015 the NABU funding programme has seen 25 new organic farmers and more than 3 500 hectares converted On the other hand howev er many young farmers want to farm organically The thing is they often can t afford to lease a farm let alone buy one and run it The BioBoden co operative makes sure these organic farmers are given land on which to farm The cooperative acquires land or entire farming enterprises for organic farmers and makes them available to them on a long term basis provided they run them according to the principles of an organic agricultur al association There are now over 2 000 members of BioBoden The co operative model makes it possible for everyone to get in volved who would like to join forces with others to farm in a regionally embedded ecological form of agriculture www bioboden de

Vorschau Sustainability Report 2016 Seite 113
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