I have just spent three days in South Saxony, Germany as part of an EISA farmer’s exchange. EISA stands for the European Initiative for Sustainable Development in Agriculture and is the umbrella organisation for a number of members who are strongly committed to agricultural practices that are economically viable, whilst being environmentally responsible and socially acceptable.
Organisations have been formed throughout Europe for the promotion of integrated farming including FNL in Germany, Odling i Balans in Sweden, FARRE in France, FILL in Luxembourg and LEAF in the UK. The aim of the organisations is to encourage the adoption of the principles of integrated farming as well as engaging with consumers so that they understand the principles and the advantages that they provide in terms of the acceptability of food and the impact on the environment.
Agriculture is the only mechanism that will feed the world. Feeding the world whilst still maintaining the earth’s resources and protecting the natural environment is the aim of integrated farming. By working at the farm level to balance food production, profitability, food safety, animal welfare and environmental and social responsibility integrated farming seeks to meet the challenges that we are facing in the short and longer term.