The Israel Bio-Organic Agriculture Association (IBOAA
The Israel Bio-Organic Agriculture Association’s (IBOAA) mission is to act in the behalf of the Israeli environment.
All IBOAA’s activities are focused on the promotion of the development of a human, animal and environment friendly industry that that presents at the same time an economic and employment challenge based on a combination of business entrepreneurship, personal excellence and technological progress.
IBOAA is the first association of its kind in Israel. As from the seventies, it combines theoretical and practical environment aspects, thus starting quietly but surely the green revolution in Israel, while implementing all the principles.
The general scope of IBOAA is to achieve maximum preservation of the equilibrium of all the natural systems: air, water, soil, plants, animals and humans. But at the same time the principle that had always guided the association is to act kindly, using an educational and process based approach. The association is involved, since its establishment, in the initiative and production of a great number of educational – rehabilitational projects that reflect a social, humanitarian and equalitarian view. The association is composed of members that represent the whole variety of the Israeli citizens, Jews and not Jews that live in the country or in the city and have a variety of political views. They all have in common the same desire to stop the damages inflicted to the environment and the soil fertility, to reduce the damage to humans, plants and animals, to improve the quality of the drinking water, to save water and significantly reduce the production of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and to ensure that we, as citizens of the state of Israel have the ability to continue to preserve the natural resources for the next generations.
Following are some of the activities of the Bio-Organic Agriculture Organization:
Training and professional assistance
IBOAA is the only Israeli association that has the professional know-how and as such the only association that provides training and professional assistance services to all those that wish to work in conformance with the organic interface. The association instructors work day and night to educate and train people all over Israel. He association symbol “Tuv HaSade” is used as a “quality mark” for the organic products and represents many years of reliability and reputation.
Education and involvement in the community
Since the day of its establishment, IBOAA is involved in many social and rehabilitational projects and builds educational programs. Due to its social, humanitarian and equalitarian view, it gives special attention to environmental and agricultural projects intended for persons with special needs.
Research and Development
The members of the association developed methodologies and practices related to the development of sustainable organic agriculture in Israel, and constitute an example and a model for the whole world.
Representation of the State of Israel
IBOAA is one of the founders of the world organic movement, and the achievements of Mario Levi, the founder of the association, as a pioneer in the field are well known worldwide. The association represents the State of Israel at international exhibitions and works in full coordination with the Israeli government, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry for Environmental Protection, aiming at assisting in the promotion of ideas, plans and services for the Israeli society.
The association’s activities are aimed at raising the awareness to the need for well-established actions led by the policy makers that will turn the sustainable agriculture into the primary object in the development of the future agriculture. The association initiated and led, together with the present minister of agriculture, Mr. Shalom Simchon and the parliament member Avshalom Vilan, the Organic Law. The law was approved by the Knesset and the related regulations will be completed shortly.
The economic contribution of the association
Beyond the ideology, IBOAA is active in the economic promotion of the organic agriculture and industry in Israel and exploits with great success the Israeli environmental – geographic, topographic and social conditions in order to leverage the development of this industry. The association’s activities lead to the expansion of the business circle, the doubling of the extent of the business activities in the industry and to a rise in its profitability. The increase in export – in 2006 the export totaled about 45000 ton. Due to the association’s activities we expect to double the export of organic agricultural products within 5 years, from NIS 300,000,000 to NIS 600,000,000. A rise in the number of enterprises – the association’s activities lead to a rise of about 50% in the number of the employees in the industry (agricultural farms, marketers, inputs suppliers, and so on). Within five years we assume that the number of the enterprises will reach 825 companies and businesses.
The Israel Bio-Organic Agriculture Association, a limited cooperative, was founded at the end of the seventies by Mario Levy, a farmer of 84 years of age, from the Kibbutz Sde Eliahu in the Beit Shean valley.
At that period, the Israeli farmer believed with all his heart that it is possible, by enhanced chemical fertilization and spraying of chemical pesticides, to overcome any problem, to destroy all the pests and illnesses and to achieve peak quality yields available to all.
At the same time, only a few believed in the organic agriculture methods of growth. They were guided by two main principles:
1.Production of healthy food for the humans and the animals – free from chemicals and hormones
2.Care for the general environment – prevention of the pollution of the aquifer and the air
Those growers got together and started to promote their ideas. At the beginning they encountered many difficulties and fought to get the acknowledgement of the conventional farmers and the agricultural establishment. It was difficult to explain that the principles they believed in are not only ideological but also applicable, and that it is possible to base on them an agriculture that is both practical and profitable.
Today, the Israel Bio-Organic Agriculture Association has about 500 growers al over the country starting with Semer on the south and ending with Dan on the north. In addition there are about 100 members that work for the organic industry: marketers, material manufacturers, training and research people. The organic agriculture processes about 1.5% of the agricultural land, but represents about 13% of the fresh products in Israel.
Real belief in their ways and concern for the preservation of the Israeli soil made the association the standard bearer of the Israeli agriculture and the first swallow of the “green” revolution in Israel.
“When God almighty created the firs human being, he showed him all the trees in the Garden of Eden and said to him: “Look at my works! See how beautiful they are , how excellent! For your sake I created them all. See to it that you do not spoil and destroy My world; for if you do, there will be no one else to repair it” (Midrash Kohelet Rabbah 9).