Naturata and Demeter
Naturata's range has always contained a high proportion of Demeter products and is continuously being extended. The company has stood for biodynamic food from the start and continues to rigorously pursue this policy. The reasons for this lie in the past: both companies trace their origins back to the teachings of Rudolf Steiner, and it therefore comes as no surprise that the beliefs and values held by Naturata correspond to the views underlying biodynamic farming practices. Demeter products guarantee the highest quality; as a premium supplier, Naturata also considers top quality to be all-important. Their shared values and highly developed pioneering spirit led Demeter and Naturata to help found the wholefood movement.
Demeter is the hallmark of biodynamic farming practices. But what exactly does that mean? And how is it distinguished from EC eco-regulations?
Founded over eighty years ago, Demeter is the oldest ecological agricultural association in the world, uniting over 3,200 farms and around 100,000 hectares of land. The international organic Demeter brand is represented on all continents. From Argentina to the United States, farmers in 38 countries operate according to Demeter guidelines.
The name comes from the Greek goddess Demeter who presided over the fertility of the earth, cereals, seeds and the seasons.
cultivation and processing
The fundamental principle of Demeter and the EC eco-regulations is to do without synthetic chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Demeter farms, however, go one step further: special compost and spray preparations are introduced into the soil to improve quality. These consist of healing plants, cow manure and quartz powder which is processed accordingly on the Demeter farms and applied in small quantities to the fields. Here, the composition is more important than the quantity. Demeter farmers wish to not only maintain the quality of the soil, as stipulated in EC eco-regulations; they go one step further and actually improve soil quality, making for an altogether healthy environment for cultivation. True to the guiding principle of putting more back into the soil than is taken out.
The advantages of this method are obvious: soil life is revitalised, fertility increased and root growth stimulated. This positive effect on sustainable soil management has also been confirmed by research studies conducted over many years.
Alongside important criteria for tillage, the Demeter guidelines also set out clear requirements regarding cultivated grain. Only open-pollinated varieties, that is, varieties which develop their own seeds in regular cycles, may be used. Cross-breeds of two related seeds, so-called hybrids, or varieties obtained by means of cell fusion are not used.
After harvesting, further processing must also comply with Demeter quality standards. Consequently, only a small number of absolutely essential auxiliary agents are permitted. The use of iodine, nitrate salting mix and so-called natural aromas (aromas which occur naturally, but which can also be manufactured with the aid of bacteria, yeast or mushrooms) is prohibited. Only aroma extracts may be used (from essential oils or extracts from vegetable sources which constitute the main component of the aroma).
A further difference lies in the extent of agricultural practice. EC eco-regulations allow farmers to operate both organic and conventional cultivation methods at the same location; Demeter farms are based on 100 % biodynamic agriculture.
Animal husbandry on Demeter farms
It is essential that Demeter farms practice animal husbandry. The extent depends on the size of the acreage farmed. The cattle produce vital manure which, following extensive processing into biodynamic fertilizer, boosts the quantity of fodder and produces high-quality foodstuffs. Demeter farms produce at least half of the fodder they require for their animals themselves. Only fodder produced on the farm or purchased from other Demeter farms is permitted. It must be free of meat and bone meal, auxiliary agents, antibiotics and hormones.
Demeter farmers refrain from the painful dehorning of cattle as is standard in conventional cattle rearing. This is because cows with horns produce particularly good manure for use as fertilizer and give wholesome milk. Demeter milk from cows with horns can even be enjoyed by people who otherwise suffer an allergic reaction to conventional milk.
Regular inspections and international guidelines
In accordance with the EC eco-regulations governing organic farming, all Demeter farms are inspected once a year by state-certified, independent inspection authorities. Demeter is the only farming association to have internationally valid guidelines, so that Demeter quality requirements are also met by imported goods.
Advantages of using Demeter products in your diet
Several studies have demonstrated that a strict diet of Demeter products has a positive effect on physical well-being. Possible health problems are alleviated and the body's defences are stimulated. By practising sustainable cultivation, Demeter farmers guarantee a supply of food which has character and whose typical flavours contribute to a healthy and enjoyable eating experience. And this goes hand-in-hand with a clear conscience with regard to nature.