Dave Chapman on the history and evolution of the organic movement

  • 31.01.2024
  • Podcast

As we reach the halfway point in this current series of the SFT podcast, Patrick Holden becomes the interviewee in a conversation with Dave Chapman on all things organic.

Dave is the co-founder of the Real Organic Project, a farmer-led movement based in the US which aims to strengthen people’s understanding of the organic movement, including the traditional values and practices. Dave has devoted much of his life to organic farming and is also the co-founder of Vermont Organic Farmers.

In this episode, Patrick and Dave both share how they came to be involved in the organic movement in the UK and US respectively, and reflect on how the movement has changed over time and continues to develop across the world. Later on in the episode, they discuss the challenges associated with commercialising organic standards and how in doing so this risks diluting the philosophy and basic principles behind the movement. Speaking from the US, Dave also talks about how organic standards there have deteriorated in recent years with the rise of so-called organic CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations) and hydroponics, and how this could influence the organic standards of other countries around the world.

To find out more about the Real Organic Project, visit https://realorganicproject.org.

This episode is also available to listen to on the Real Organic Project’s website here.

To listen to more SFT podcasts, featuring some of the biggest names in regenerative food and farming, head to our main podcast page. And to keep up with our news, you can subscribe to our fortnightly newsletter or follow us on Instagram, X or Facebook.

“As you bring [organic standards] into commerce it’s going to get buffeted by those forces and twisted. But if you don’t bring it into commerce, it’s never going to scale and we have to find some way to grow this food in a way that people can make a living doing so, or it will be very small indeed.”
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