Markets working to support sustainable development

IFOAM Organic

The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) is an umbrella organisation that seeks to harmonise organic standards worldwide.

The IFOAM Organic Guarantee System (OGS)

  • The IFOAM Basic Standard – the so-called standard for standards
  • The IFOAM Accreditation Criteria, which establishes requirements for certification bodies to be IFOAM accredited
  • The IFOAM Accreditation Program

The Basic Standard Main Principles:

  • Principle of Health: ‘organic agriculture shoud sustain and enhance the health of soil, plant, animal, human and planet as one and indivisible.’
  • Principle of Ecology: ‘organic agriculture should be based on living ecological systems and cycles, work with them, emulate them and help sustain them.’
  • Principle of Fairness: ‘organic agriculture should build on relationships that ensure fairness with regard to the common environment and life opportunities.’
  • Principle of Care: ‘organic agriculture should be managed in a precautionary and responsible manner to protect the health and wellbeing of current and future generations and the environment.’
Market coverage: 

The IFOAM 2012 Annual report claims that in 2012 there were 1.8 million certified organic producers worldwide (a rise of 200,000 on 2011), and that the total world market for certified organic produce was worth US$62.9 billion in 2010.

Background information: 

IFOAM originated in France in 1972 and since then has grown worldwide to its current status of uniting 766 member organisations across 116 countries (including 96 in Germany alone). Its mission is 'leading, uniting and assisting the organic movement in its full diversity' and in addition to defining organic standards also actively particpates in research projects and the promotuion of organic adoption in developing countries.

Funding source: 

2011: Income = €1,955,000; Expenditure = €1,945,000Contributions and fees; donations; project income. 

Notable information: 

Very large coverage with affiliates in over 100 countries worldwide. IFOAM standards are translated into 18 languages