The concept of biodynamic certification first evolved in the early part of 1920 when Austrian writer, social activist and educator, Dr. Rudolf Steiner revealed the concept of carrying out food production, nutrition and agriculture by applying ethical, spiritual and ecological approach. His farming methods were based on combination of practical suggestions and spiritual insights. This philosophy put forth by Steiner is known as anthroscopy and today’s biodynamic farming majorly is inspired from it. As of today, biodynamic farming cover thousands of acres of gardens, vineyards, agricultural operations of various sizes and types throughout the continent and are being hugely successful in getting myriad varieties of agricultural produce in varying ecological and economical settings. The countries involved in biodynamic farming include United States, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. As a certification gives a particular product authenticity that the right procedure was followed and the right ingredients were used, making it easier for consumers to buy the real one. Similar to organic farming, biodynamic certification is available for farmers interested in getting one. The first order of the process is to get it certified as Organic before you get the biodynamic.
The main aim of biodynamic farming is to produce crops that are well balanced in nutrition and health and derives all the components required for producing healthy crop from the soil itself. The manure and supplements used for enhancing the yield are 100% natural and are prepared from minerals, fermented manure and herbs. These supplements help in restoring harmony to the important life forces present in the farm naturally and increase the quality, flavor and nutrition of the food that is being produced. Working in synchronization with the vast cosmos effect on animals, plants and soil is vital for getting the right amount of yield and the perfect biodynamic crop. Most biodynamic farming procedures symbolize three basic approaches that include social, economic and ecological sustainability. Thus, this type of farming apart from being a holistic approach to agricultural system also is a strong movement taking forward the subtle influences of new practices of spiritualism and life into agriculture and food.
Biodynamic farms are considered to be a living organism and for the farm to be healthy and survivinf htey have to maintain a balanced ecosystem. In following the fertility program, the farm has to have a well-ripened compost, manure for the crops which is green, proper crop rotation, and pasture for their grazing stock. So as to obtain biodynamic certification, the farmers should maintain large compost bank, prohibit the use of treated seeds, synthetics, hormones and should only take into use the plant derived permitted pest control supplements that are set according to biodynamic standards. Each farm is given individual certification. The certification company takes into consideration the application of six main principles of biodynamic farming before granting the certification. These six principles are:
A biodynamic farm should fulfill all these above principles in order to get a biodynamic certification.
So as to gain biodynamic certification, a farmer should have organic certification three years prior to applying for biodynamic certification. One of the recognized authority in biodynamic certification in USA is, Demeter Association. The company also has a sister company by the name of Stellar Certification services. Depending upon the adherence of farm to the biodynamic principles and the evaluation of the certifying inspection group, a farm can get biodynamic certification in four categories:
It is necessary to renew biodynamic certification each year. The farmer can check the company’s website online and apply.