Sebastian Kretschmer is passionate about developing programmes that can foster food sovereignty and support the next generation of organic farmers. The biodynamic farmer and organic agriculturalist is a founding member of the Organic Food System Program and the UN One Planet Network. He is also my guest today on Inside Ideas.
In all aspects of his work Kretschmer is committed to helping build regenerative foodsheds and equitable value chains that can advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). And in organic food systems he sees a way of doing things that can inspire people and catalyse change at scale.
It’s so important that the SDGs finally bring a sort of equalising effect.
“What I found in organic food systems is that they promote things like self-determination, this beautiful motivational macro theory where people need to feel a sense of autonomy,” he said. “They need to feel a sense of competence and a sense of social relatedness. The self determination theory means if these needs are met people are intrinsically motivated and usually engage in much more environmentally friendly behaviour, which leads to this sense of coherence and ecological altruism, which is a real thing, that people feel a need to be kind to nature, they feel nature as sort of part of their body.”
Kretschmer’s work focuses on leveraging the capacity of farmers and food processors through the formation of food hubs, and he believes that by flicking the food systems switch to regeneration, the SDG train can achieve an unstoppable momentum.
“It’s so important that the SDGs finally bring a sort of equalising effect. Everybody can actually take part in this. It is not rocket science, this is a very equitable affair. People understand common sense. People want to engage in this coherent approach.”
He added: “You get SDG performance based on a mindset that has many layers of integrative levels. These positive synergies that build and emerge to new macro-regimes of consciousness really – and these two things completely go hand in hand. Sustainable and regenerative agriculture systems are the perfect delivery system for these things. They provide a catalyst in a way. They pave the way to transport the narratives. They inspire folks through the belly, through their food, and then we see positive outcomes in terms of biodiversity. So to me it is crystal clear that this is the fastest and best way to induce the transformation that we need to deliver through the food system.”
I am delighted to welcome Sebastian Kretschmer onto the show to learn more about the organic mindset he sees as being pivotal to fixing broken food systems.