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European Alliance of Initiatives
for Applied Anthroposophy

The externalised costs of agriculture

Dear Friends of ELIANT,

If the true environmental cost of agricultural production were included in the price of food, what we pay for agricultural produce and especially conventional produce would be considerably higher. That is the conclusion of a recently published information by Natural Grocers.

The true cost of food
If the true costs of production were reflected in the prices charged, conventionally produced animal products would need to be three times more expensive (incur 196% surcharge) – organic products by comparison would only need to be twice as expensive (82% surcharge). The price of conventional dairy products would have to be doubled while that of organic dairy products would increase by only 35%. Conventional plant-based products would cost 28% more and organic only 6% more.

The externalised costs which have not been included up to now in the prices charged
Many of the environmental costs of producing food have to be met indirectly by taxpayers and are not included in the price. Three such externalised costs were considered in the Augsberg study – nitrogen, greenhouse gas emissions and energy use. Water was not included. It demonstrated that organic products come out far better than comparable conventional products.

The destruction of our natural eco-system
Our modern conventional, industrialised agriculture is systematically destroying our environment and natural eco-systems. Pesticide use is causing collateral damage and killing many of our most valuable insect pollinators such as bees. By contrast, the production standards of the organic organisations like Demeter, Soil Association etc. have the potential to regenerate the soil. Conversion from conventional to organic agriculture brings back earthworms and important micro-organisms and also insects.

ELIANT is campaigning together with its partners, for biodynamic and organic agriculture and for their tasty and healthy products.

Your support is warmly appreciated and enables us to continue our work.

With warm greetings on behalf of the alliance
Michaela Glöckler