In recent years, signs of increasing global demand for organic foods have escalated beyond supply capacities in concentrated areas of the world. However, the supply and demand are not found within the same regions. According to the Organic Monitor, North America and Europe, two of the most voracious continents for organic food consumption, are now the lowest producers. Within these two prosperous regions are the G7 industrial nations of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United Sates. These seven opulent countries comprise 80% of the organic food global demand while only possessing and utilizing a mere 12% of the entire range of international farmland. The result is that these countries must import organic ingredients and products from various countries around the world to meet the expanding demand.
Simultaneously, organic food production is pervasive in developing countries where there is yet to be an internal demand for organic products. This disparity arises from the typically high prices for organic foods that are unaffordable to the impecunious inhabitants of impoverished nations. The concern with a concentration of organic food demand in seven economically privileged countries is that the economic stability is reliant on a continued need from these countries. Therefore, organic food suppliers from developing nations are subject to the capriciousness of the demand from the G7.
To diminish the business risks arising from this economic inequality, organic farmers from developing countries are investing in ecoagricultural initiatives. Ecoagriculture corresponds with permaculture, sustainable farming, and similar practices. It is a land-management approach practiced by rural farmers for eons but officially identified as an international movement in 2001 by Future Harvest Foundation agricultural studies. This agrarian approach operates from a troika mission to conserve and sustain global landscapes through biodiversity and ecological practices, to increase food production to meet overall global demand, and to promote perdurable livelihood for farmers from rural regions.
Amassing the profuse knowledge from these scattered, isolated farmers was challenging prior to the ontogenesis of the networking organization, Ecoagricultural Partners. However, as stewards for this agricultural paradigm, the Ecoagricultural Partners have been able to facilitate conversations and collaborations between rural ecoagricultural farmers, policy makers, and farming institutions. These partners conjointly educate decision-makers and innovators in ecoagricultural procedures and support the unique ecoagricultural approaches currently operating. Some countries such as Brazil have created their own ecoagricultural networking systems that have concentrated efforts applicable to their particular region and knowledge base. Brazil’s esteemed Ecovida Agroecology Network has even magnified the credibility of ecoagricultural practices within the country by establishing certification standards and a certification manual.
The success of ecoagricultural practices not only benefits the rural farmers engaged in these sustainable efforts, it possesses the potential to stabilize the organic global market by expanding organic production and consumption worldwide. Ecoagricultural networking organizations ultimately work to bring about this success by strengthening rural social and economic fabric to fortify sustainable global fabric, creating a mosaic of the world’s agricultural wisdom.
*Stool image from Landscape Measures Resource Center
*Yin/Yang Image from Behance