Finca Irlanda is one of the oldest bio-dynamic projects in Central- and South America.
Located in the beautiful Chiapas region of Mexico, the Finca has been growing coffee in an agro-forestry system since the 1960s. In line with bio-dynamic principles the focus has always been on building healthy and thriving communities around the farm and to establish long-term partnerships with like-minded pioneers and businesses.
Lebensbaum – one of the founding partners of the Save Our Soils Fund – is among the group of pioneers and partners of FincaIrlandaand has committed to funding a study to identify the long-term impact on soil health of decades of bio-dynamic practices.
The truly transformational part of this research however is that the project will identify the added social and environmental services provided by Finca Irlanda and seeks to allocate a monetary value to them following an FAO methodology.
Services, such as
- humus build up through composting and bio-dynamic preparations
- Increased biodiversity – above and below-ground – by providing opportunities to wild-life big and small
- Greenhouse gas reduction and carbon sequestration through climate smart agricultural practices
- As well as avoided pollution of water sources by banning chemicals entirely from the farm
All have a tremendous socio-economic and environmental benefit, but are currently not taken into account when price negotiations are taking place. That is why conventional products seem cheaper than their organic or bio-dynamic counterparts.
This perception will change though, if the true price of land degradation, water pollution, greenhouse gases and all the socio-economic aspects are taken into account as well.
This project will therefore be transformational on many levels:
- It will investigate in a scientifically robust way the tremendous potential for humus build up and carbon sequestration (i.e. climate change adaptation and mitigation) of bio-dynamic and organic agriculture
- It will seek to provide a true price for FincaIrlanda coffee taking into account all those additional services provided by the Finca
- Seek to develop a framework with which this approach can be taken into the heart of the debate in the organic & bio-dynamic movement
The Save our Soils Fund will play a significant role in this endeavor – and you too can support this project by donating on this website or by contacting us via email.
The results & learning will be published soon. You can sign up to our newsletter to be notified when these resources become available.