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FiBL celebrates its 40th birthday with 4000 guests

FiBL staff member explains her experiments (Posterpresentation)

FiBL staff member Monika Messmer (left) explains her experiments with cotton production in India. Photo: FiBL

Philipp Wyss of Coop presents Urs Niggli

Philipp Wyss of Coop presents Urs Niggli (left) with a picture by Hans Erni as a token of appreciation for the positive cooperation between Coop and FiBL. Photo: FiBL

Visitors enjoyed guided tours

Visitors enjoyed guided tours of laboratories, livestock sheds and fruit plantations. Photo: FiBL

The Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) celebrated its 40th birthday by hosting an open day on August 25, 2013. Over 4000 visitors – including the President of Switzerland’s National Council, Maya Graf – were clearly impressed by the Institute’s broad spectrum of research and advisory activities.

Research, advice and training at FiBL span the whole value chain of organic farming, from field to plate. Its breadth of interests was reflected in the vibrant mix of visitors – farmers, food trade and processing professionals, researchers and interested consumers from all over Switzerland, including numerous families with children – who converged on FiBL Switzerland in the Frick valley. FiBL staff at 14 information stands presented their current projects with considerable pride and enthusiasm. On guided tours and demonstrations all over the site – in the vineyard, laboratories, vegetable plots, livestock housing, fruit and vine production areas – wide-ranging exploration and animated discussion were the order of the day.

“Seeing this many visitors and the great interest they take in our work is very motivating for the whole FiBL team,” says the Director of FiBL, Urs Niggli. “The market for organic products is growing faster than the supply. Therefore FiBL is challenged to find solutions to shortfalls in organic production. For example, we are researching new methods of treating animals without using antibiotics, or crops without using copper. We want to make organic agriculture more sustainable and productive.”

National Council President and organic farmer Maya Graf is clearly inspired: “With its hands-on research, FiBL has been a pioneer for the last 40 years and set the pace for resource-conserving and sustainable agriculture. Switzerland can take pride in FiBL and its significant national and international influence.”

Since FiBL is mainly privately financed, good cooperation with its 200 or so partners and clients is extremely important. Hence Urs Niggli is delighted with a picture by Hans Erni, presented to him by Philipp Wyss, Head of Marketing/Purchasing at Coop, as a token of appreciation and to mark the positive cooperation between Coop and FiBL over many years.

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FiBL turns 40 – reminiscence and outlook