The highlight of Biofach - the world's largest trade fair for organic - was to hear 85-year-old British primatologist, ethologist and anthropologist Dr. Jane Goodall. Her work revolutionized the field of primatology - the study of non-human primates - and she has also spread her knowledge to the public through a dozen books.
During her lecture, she touched on the great challenges facing the world; climate change, the loss of biodiversity and the pollution of our seas and soils:
”Part of the reason why we are here I think is because we all know that we are living in very dark times socially, politically and especially environmentally. We are seeing the destruction of the forests and the pollution of the oceans. The two great lungs of the world. We are currently experiencing the sixth great extinction of plants, animal life and ecosystems. We've seen to have forgotten that we are part of natural world. We're not separated from it. We depend on it. ”
Goodall also criticized industrial agriculture:
One of the big problems is what is called conventional agriculture. Can anybody tell me how 'conventional' was attached to this very unconventional way of growing food? I prefer to call it 'industrial agriculture'. Who could possibly have thought that it was good idea to spray chemical poison on to our fields where we grow our food to feed our children? We only have to look at what this system has done to the environment to realize what a huge mistake it is. ”
Photo: Frank Boxler
The opening ceremony also featured a panel discussion under the theme "Organic delivers!" with Peggy Miars, President of IFOAM Organics International, Dr Felix Prinz zu Löwenstein, Chairman of BÖLW (German Association of Organic Producers) and most researchers. Together, they were able to state that the combined science and experience from agriculture around the world shows that ecological methods promote biodiversity, clean water and the health of farmers. If we grow according to the ecological principles, we lay the foundations for a healthy diet that respects the planetary boundaries, said one of the panelists.
Link to Jane Goodall's talk: Jane Goodall, keynote at Biofach 2020