Photo by Heinrich J.Heer
Dornach, the 8th of February, during the festive announcement in the main hall during the International Biodynamic Agricultural Conference by Petra Derkzen
As a former Board member of Demeter International (DI) and the International Biodynamic Association (IBDA), Petra co-initiated and co-prepared the International Biodynamic Council (IBDC) meeting with two others, where the topic "what are the needs in the world" was discussed. This led to the common impulse for the Biodynamic Federation. To hear more about these developments, watch this video on Founding the Biodynamic Federation Demeter International (BFDI) posted by the Agriculture Section at the Goetheanum.
Petra said the following on the stage:
On the Monday evening before the conference, at the Circle of Representatives, we exchanged in small groups on the theme of this Agricultural Conference: where did I meet the spiritual? How did I recognise this? I then told my group how I experienced the arrival of our common impulse to unite the international organisations into the now-founded Biodynamic Federation as a moment where the spirit was present to support. To support us looking beyond our current situation and interests to a world with many new biodynamic associations which did not yet have possibility to participate actively. We saw many needs which could never be met in the old constellation. The impulse arrived in between us, even to our surprise. We formulated it in one sentence on a flipchart, and signed it all.
I say “we”, who are we? This was the International Biodynamic Council, consisting of the boards of 3 independent bodies: 1) the Section for Agriculture; 2) the IBDA, holder of the trademarks; and 3) Demeter International, association of accredited Demeter organisations.
We wrote the following on the flipchart:
All IBDC members endorse: we merge intentionally (not legally) the IBDA and DI to one member organisation (open to all) with a new name to provide a wide range of services to associations (broader than certification). DI and IBDA form a union / act as one. The Section will be part of this unified board.
So what is new? The Biodynamic Federation will be open to all biodynamic associations, regardless whether they have a certification office or not. This means that not only the associations with a Demeter certification can actively shape the form of the movement, but all biodynamic associations who fulfil the membership criteria can.
This is reflected in the name: a movement, Biodynamic Federation – with a brand, Demeter International.
We had the picture of inclusion, that associations with and without Demeter certification shape the movement together in dialogue, facilitated by the fact that we meet under one roof. We formulated the principle of equality into one country, one vote. Not market power or size of farms, but every country, one delegate. We formulated the principle of solidarity; we want to support and service all members, especially those who are in young, just-born associations. They may want to benefit from experience, exchange, and services that are available from participation at the international level – for example, marketing tools ready for use. We formulated the principle of subsidiarity, all what is best done inside the country should not be overtaken or centralised.
Steiner has written about the current age of the development of the consciousness soul, that the awakening of the consciousness soul leads first to more individuality, to more and more difficulty to overcome our own inner barriers to meet the other, to innerly reach out and understand the other deeply. He predicts how a backlash to nationalism and polarisation is a sign of how difficult humanity finds its way to new social togetherness, cooperation, and community.
I am proud to the fact that we counter the current trend in the world. That we have the courage to actively seek how to live with more diversity. How to live with more differences. That we have the courage to step into developing a new way to be social, to be a community. This will ask from each and all of us here, to be open, to reflect on our way to hold onto power, to make an inner development step.