Prof. Dr. Sang Mok Sohn
Dankook University
Research Institute of Organic Agriculture
29 Anseo-dong
330-714 Cheonan
Republic of Korea
Tel. +82 41 550 3663
Mobile +82 10 4028 2939
Fax +82 41 568 3633

Speech of Sang Mok Sohn, President of the International Society of Organic Agriculture Research (ISOFAR)

Speech of Professor Dr. Sang Mok Sohn, President of the International Society of Organic Agriculture Research (ISOFAR) at the Science Day on February 15, 2013.

Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends and colleagues,

It is an honour for me to take the opportunity to participate in this meeting and to deliver some ideas concerning the role ISOFAR should play in the concert of TIPI members who all aim to extend the community interested in Organic Agriculture research and to bring further forward Organic Agriculture worldwide.

ISOFAR welcomes all initiatives that may further vitalize research in Organic Agriculture. Thus, ISOFAR’s Board decided to support this today’s event also financially.

ISOFAR is prepared to collaborate with TiPI members to engage more researchers and research institutes in scientific activities. We understand TIPI as an institution that may bring together people interested in an organic agricultural approach that is based on science.

As described at, TIPI’s foreseen future partners are research institutes. We consider ISOFAR fitting into TiPI’s structure as a partner who is and was up from the beginning focused on the individual scientists. When launching ISOFAR at the Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Berlin in 2003 it was our aim to give the individual researchers the possibility to come into closer contact with the organic research community not hindered by their institution’s supervisors or directors, who often have to decide on scientists participation in international meetings and events.

There is no doubt, that IFOAM as the umbrella organization of the worldwide organic community could not fulfill this task. It was this awareness that has led us to the successful partnership of IFOAM’s OWCs and ISOFAR’s International Scientific Conference displayed as the embedded scientific track of the OWC’s held in Adelaide 2005, Modena 2008 and Namyangju 2011 as well as foreseen for Istanbul 2014. It was and is this way to recruite more scientists active contributing and working on topics related to Organic Agriculture. This approach was assisted by several workshops and regional conferences in the years out of the OWC three years rhythm. Thus, I very much hope that ISOFAR and TIPI can complement each other and join forces to bring the organic world forward.

During the last ten years ISOFAR completed the agenda list set in it’s launching ceremony. Since we are aware that conference proceedings have stepwise lost their value and reputation during the last decades, one of our last steps to open the organic door wider for mainstream researchers was the launch of ISOFAR’s scientific journal ‘Organic Agriculture’ two years ago.  As a paying member of ISOFAR you have free access to the journal and may find also via this way your ’scientific home’ that should be provided by ISOFAR. The journal is on the track and indeed in good progress. You all should use it intensively to give it a hub to higher ranking.

I do not want to conceal my personal and our ISOFAR board members deep concern to observe several scientists – often active in organic pioneer research institutions – cancelling their ISOFAR membership. To our Board members’ understanding it makes no sense to compete in a destructive way in between our community – and indeed not under the umbrella headlined with the slogan "uniting the organic world".

Currently, ISOFAR is preparing the first ‘World Organic Expo’ that will be held in Chungbuk Province, Republic of Korea, in September 2015. Please feel free to contribute to the scientific background of the many ecological and social services Organic Agriculture delivers and which will be displayed in at least ten theme halls at the Expo’s venue. Please, feel invited to proof whether your ideas might fill a given gap in our foreseen program that should bring us a worldwide better understanding what Organic Agriculture is and can be for the societies of the manifold different cultures and a still diverse nature.

On behalf of ISOFAR I very much hope for a fruitful partnership of all of us. In this spirit I would like to cite an old Korean saying "U-Ri-Ga, Na-Mi-Ga" that can be translated as "We are friends, we are a family, we are one".

Thank you for your attention.