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Dr. Linley Dixon, US farmer and Associate Director of the Real Organic Project visited Naturland and Naturland farms in Southern Germany, beginning of December. The Real Organic Project is a nonprofit farmer NGO that aims at growing people’s understanding of foundational organic values and practices in the US.

Their main concern is the loss of local organic farms due to the influx of so called industrial organic producers. Their first goal is to create an add-on label to USDA certified organic to provide more transparency on organic farming practices.
Hence, Linley Dixon went on an excursion to Europe meeting several organic associations, among them Naturland for an exchange of best-practices in organic farming and certification and to support lobbying as a global organic movement. One of their concerns is the equivalency agreement between the EU organic regulation and the USDA organic regulation, that the Real Organic Project sees endangered by some changes that were recently implemented in the US, such as the certification of hydroponic systems underneath USDA.
In their endeavor to create an add-on label, practical examples from Naturland farms helped spark an enthusiastic exchange between Naturland and the Real Organic Project. From her perspective, as an organic vegetable producer in Colorado, soil means everything and the engagement of her fellow citizens and neighbors through a community supported agriculture (CSA) is her way of educating people about the importance of soil. Martin Huber, Naturland dairy producer who depends on healthy and productive soils to grow organic grass land and forage for his cattle couldn’t agree more. Their exchange also touched upon the question; “what does it mean to be a family farmer today?” when Martin explained his vision of being an organic farmer and family father, who at the same time holds political duties in his municipality and within the Naturland Association, as an elected delegate. The exchange will be continued…