German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN)


Profile: IFOAM

International Federation of Organic Argriculture Movements (IFOAM)
founded in 1972


IFOAM is an umbrella organisation uniting more than 750 member organisations in 116 countries.


IFOAM’s goal is the worldwide adoption of ecologically, socially and economically sound systems based on the principles of organic agriculture. Activities to achieve this goal include the introduction of the IFOAM Accreditation Programme, a harmonised international quality guarantee system for organic products. Another responsibility is the international coordination of stakeholder groups. IFOAM thus aims to develop a global platform for all represented groups. The platform is intended to supplement conferences, trade fairs, seminars and publications in promoting exchange of knowledge and experience among members. IFOAM represents the interests of the organic agriculture sector in various institutions and organisations, for example holding advisory status at the United Nations and FAO.


IFOAM is a democratic organisation. The IFOAM General Assembly elects the World Board for a three year term. The World Board appoints members to official committees, working groups and task forces.

IFOAM official committees, working groups and task forces have very specific purposes and areas of focus. Committee members include farmers, consumers, the food industry, wholesalers and retailers. Committee decisions are binding for IFOAM. IFOAM member organisations also establish regional groups.

The following structures have been established:

  • The Norms Management Committee, which includes members of the Standards Committee and the Accreditation Criteria Committee
  • The Development Forum, which works towards the development of organic agriculture in developing countries
  • The Program Strategy Committee of the ‘IFOAM Growing Organic’ programme
  • The Africa Organic Service Center and the FAO Liaison Office
  • Various Working Groups and temporary Task Forces
  • IFOAM Regional Groups
  • The Government Relations Committee, which works with governments worldwide to advance the interests of IFOAM

IFOAM member organisations have also created a number of professional bodies and initiatives.

Examples of IFOAM’s activities include the introduction of a standard for organic farming and a framework for organic certification that paved the way among other things for the EU Organic Farming Regulation.


IFOAM Head Office
Charles-de-Gaulle-Str. 5
D-53113 Bonn

Tel: +49-228-92650-10
Fax: +49-228-92650-99

BfN activities:

BfN has worked together with IFOAM in recent years to achieve greater consideration of nature conservation concerns in organic farming. This work mainly focused on the development of organic farming standards to promote biodiversity. This led to joint conferences and publications and participation in the IFOAM-IUCN Biodiversity in Organic Agriculture working group. IFOAM brought a motion before the last IUCN General Assembly to protect organic agriculture from genetically modified organisms. The motion was supported by BfN.

Further information

IFOAM website


Last Change: 15/06/2010