Mathias Forster

Board of Trustees and Managing Director at the Swiss Organic Foundation

The Bio-Stiftung Schweiz is a non-profit, operational initiative foundation to promote environmentally friendly products and sustainable consumer behavior. We are convinced that independent action, cooperation between trustworthy and competent partners and enthusiasm for innovation can significantly advance truly sustainable development.

The organic industry has changed and developed enormously in recent years. More and more people want food in organic quality, that is, from a production that works without synthetic pesticides, artificial nitrogen fertilizers and other external additives. It is becoming increasingly clear that many of the substances used in industrial agriculture have negative side effects on the health of people and nature. The growth rates of the global trade in organic products are a gratifying reality. The enormous increase in demand presents the organic sector with the challenge of keeping its promise of sustainable food production even under increased pressure: This includes securing and developing soil fertility, protecting biodiversity, careful use of resources and, finally, new forms of social design and of economic activity. In order to guarantee sufficient access to healthy food in the future, our food system must be fundamentally transformed and redesigned. We participate in this existentially important development process by designing and implementing our own projects, collaborations and funding.

In addition, we offer interested parties the opportunity to set up earmarked funds within our foundation so that they do not have to set up and manage their own legal entity. We can operate worldwide, realize projects and allocate funds. We were not founded with a large fortune, but finance our activities through donations, bequests and fundraising.

That is why you support the BEST ECONOMY forum 2021: The Best Economy Forum creates a space for encounters and exchange in which the foundations of a global economy should be sought, developed and implemented with responsibility. It is well known that the economy is already global, even if it is implemented very unfairly. And the responsibility is connected with that. All too often this is only felt and realized in relation to one’s own family, one’s own company, the region or one’s own state. Those who suffer the most are humans, animals, nature and the common goods of water, air, soil and even the whole planet earth. As an operational initiative foundation committed to the common good, we want to give these common goods a voice. So we are active in those fields in which something has to be done, but with which no money can be made. This means that the quality of the money given is required. Our activities and their effects, and we stand here as a representative of an entire industry and movement, are only possible through free donations from people, institutions and companies. However, so that entrepreneurs can perceive and think the social co-shaping that goes beyond the narrower company interests as a responsibility to be shaped, an expanded, systemically thinking and acting awareness is required. I assume that people and especially entrepreneurs with such an awareness will come together at the Best Economy Forum. To get in contact with these people, to look together into the indefinite future space and then to move in conversation which future we want to think and implement together, that makes sense and is urgently needed from my point of view. And at the same time it is something that can only be grasped and shaped in freedom. It doesn’t just happen by itself, it has to be wanted and is therefore a cultural act.

In other forums and events it is usually the case that everyone wants to present “their” and bring it to the woman and the man, and then what “common” is often not found or wanted. This means that the individual participants do not find their way beyond self-interest in order to connect on a higher level in order to strengthen the mutual effect in favor of the common good and the common goods. I’m curious and look forward to the (virtual) encounters.

What do you expect from your participation in the BEF 2021? Inspiration, exchange, potentiation of mutual effectiveness, networks, new partnerships

What goals do you hope for your company / organization locally, nationally and globally in 2 years?

  • Project-independent base financing in the amount of EUR 300,000 per year covered by partnerships
  • Initiating the phase out of the age of synthetic pesticides
  • Successfully complete the fundraising for the soil fertility fund

What goals do you hope for your company / organization locally, nationally and globally in 5 years?

  • The foundation has found reliable partners and sponsors and has consolidated its basic funding
  • The pesticide phase-out in Switzerland has gotten off to a good start, funding is channeled into sustainable research and development, and awareness of ecosystems has grown
  • The pilot phase II of the Soil Fertility Fund in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Liechtenstein has been successfully completed and is being stabilized. The tools and experiences developed in the process can be scaled and made available to other regions and partners.

What goals do you hope for your company / organization locally, nationally and globally in 10 years?

  • Switzerland is free of synthetic pesticides, and Germany, Austria and Liechtenstein have also made good progress on this path.
  • Soil as a significant Co2 storage has arrived in the consciousness of people and institutions and investments in soil construction and development are commonplace. We have done our part.
  • Agriculture is regenerative and works more with instead of against nature.
  • The Bio-Stiftung team has expanded and promotes, realizes and supports projects around the world