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The seven Bioland principles
Bioland’s most important self-imposed task is to promote and further develop organic farming. They do this on many levels. The seven Bioland principles show how they envision the agriculture of the future. They want to feed humanity in the long term – while preserving its natural livelihoods. The Bioland principles are also the basis for the guidelines for cultivation, animal husbandry and processing, according to which all members and partners work. Only those who know the interrelationships and effects of this way of doing business can truly appreciate the added value that Bioland foods (such as Holle’s popular Lebenswert formula) have for all of us.
Principle 1: Circular economy
The circular economy is the basis for organic agriculture. This means, above all, a nutrient cycle that is as closed as possible. The nutrients that are important for soil life, plant growth and as feed for animals should be kept in the cycle of the organic farm in a natural way. Farmers avoid waste and reapply the nutrients that are in their plants to their fields in the form of manure and compost. Of course, they also make sure that only as many nutrients as necessary end up on the fields. The number of animals on an organic farm depends on the size of the farm’s fields and pastures. Thus, the animals can be fed with the farm’s own feed and the soil is not overfertilized. This means they can do without synthetic fertilizers and are largely independent of scarce raw materials.
Principle 5: Promoting Biodiversity
To protect the environment, Bioland promotes biological diversity in its regions. Because this is a basic prerequisite for the future. The more diverse the genetic potential of the planet, the less it can be endangered by epidemics or other catastrophes. Preserving as many plant and animal species as possible is therefore not only a question of ethics, but also a vital goal, especially in agriculture. That is why the association promotes diversity in the landscape, for example by planting hedges or flower strips. In the fields, it takes care to protect wildlife and habitats for insects. On farms, there are old livestock breeds and nesting aids for birds or bats.
Principle 2: Promote soil fertility
The most important farm animals for Bioland farmers are the billions of soil organisms. With a variety of measures, farmers try to increase the humus content, improve its structure, and promote soil fertility in a natural way and safeguard it for future generations. For example, they grow catch crops in their fields to bind nutrients in the soil and make sure that the soil is well aerated during cultivation. In addition, thanks to their large humus and root mass, Bioland soils store more CO2 than comparable conventionally farmed soils. This benefits not only the climate, but also, for example, every little baby that eats a Lebenwsert formula produced according to Bioland principles.
Principle 6: Preserve livelihoods
Air, water and soil are the foundations of life. Handling natural resources with care, using them sustainably and not polluting them with harmful substances are central goals of Bioland. Its members protect the climate, for example, by not using petroleum-based fertilizers and by using renewable energies. They ensure that water remains pure by avoiding synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and hormones. They maintain their fertile soils by, among other things, promoting species-rich soil life, working with catch crops and keeping the nutrient cycle on the farm as closed as possible. Thanks to their good structure and rooting, such soils are more resilient to weather extremes such as floods or periods of drought.
Principle 3: Species-appropriate animal husbandry
Animals are much more than useful food suppliers. That’s why Bioland’s motto is “quality not quantity” – not only for meat consumption, but also for animal husbandry. For example, they pay attention to higher feed quality without growth promoters or genetically modified ingredients. They also ensure a better quality of life, for example by leaving young animals with their mothers for longer. Above all, Bioland animals have more space – both on the pastures and in the barn. Through all these measures, they also strengthen the health of our animals. And the increase in quality, species-appropriate feeding and exercise ultimately also improves the food produced, for example the popular Lebenswert formula for young children.
Principle 7: Ensure a future worth living for people
An intact agricultural sector is the backbone of any society. As resources become scarcer, it will become increasingly important in the future to produce food locally. That is why Bioland wants to enable people to build a meaningful future in agriculture. They ensure that farm families and their employees can be independent, earn enough money, create more jobs in rural areas and have better opportunities for development. This not only creates security for the farms, but also for everyone who is supplied with high-quality food, for example with a Lebenswert formula for newborns.
Principle 4: Produce high-quality food
Pesticides and genetically modified organisms do not belong in human food. Bioland attaches great importance to natural quality. Bioland foods contain – depending on location and variety – more valuable ingredients. In addition, consumers get the natural taste of wholesome food. All Bioland raw materials and products are monitored by state-authorized inspection bodies. Bioland’s guidelines, which apply to all members, are also stricter than EU legislation on organic farming.