Farming and Agriculture

50 years of FiBL, 50 years of research for and with organic agriculture

10 February 2023, Europe: On the 1st of February 1973, the Swiss Foundation for the Promotion of Organic Agriculture (Schweizerische Stiftung zur Förderung des biologischen Landbaus) was established, thus laying the foundations for FiBL. The Wege und Ziele (pathways and goals) document, written in October 1973, sets out the then Foundation Council’s vision for the future FiBL: “As a Research Institute of Organic Agriculture we initially envisage a relatively small and modest research group which is to grow organically to seven individuals.” Since the institute’s establishment in 1974, FiBL has grown steadily. FiBL Switzerland currently has almost 300 members of staff, and the FiBL Group as a whole, with its other five sites in Europe, now employs more than 400 people.

The anniversary webpage as part of the FiBL website looks back and ahead: Take a look at the development of 50 years of FiBL in the image gallery or follow our on-going Anniversary Voices series, which throughout the year will highlight the relationship between FiBL and senior figures in research, practice, politics, business and more, starting with Knut Schmidtke, Director of Research, Extension and Innovation and Chair of the Management Board at FiBL Switzerland.

The anniversary webpage also gives an overview of exciting upcoming events. The year 2023 will be eventful indeed: One of the first events in the series will be the 16th Scientific Conference on Organic Agriculture (Wissenschaftstagung Ökologischer Landbau WiTa) in March, under the slogan of “one step ahead”. The conference will focus on the exchange of technical information as well as on general future prospects and solutions to specific challenges faced by the organic agri-food sector.

The highlight of the series of events will be the ten-day FiBL Caravan, which will start in Romandie on 21 August 2023 and, after visiting a variety of farms throughout Switzerland, will reach its festive conclusion on 31 August with the Innovation Day on the FiBL Campus in Frick. Further information can be found on our anniversary webpage, which we will update continuously (link at the end of this text).

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