This is only an excerpt of the full article that appeared in P&F Magazine. The full content is not currently available online.
Norman Bourlag—agronomist, Nobel laureate and founder of the “green revolution”—has spent the last decade and more imploring the world to take a clear-eyed view of agricultural productivity, particularly as it relates to organics. (Read an in-depth talk with Bourlag at reason.com) While he doesn’t deplore organic farming, Bourlag does stress that the mechanics of such a growing system can have unintended, ecologically disastrous effects. For instance, he estimates that all of the available organic manure in the world could help feed just about 4 billion people. In addition, clearing lands for organic and natural crops and nitrogen-bearing livestock could potentially decimate already threatened forests.
Yet Bourlag’s points are far from common knowledge among consumers and even some manufacturers. The result is that the consumer continues to demand “safer and greener” organic products, customer companies place high value on launching organic lines, and the flavor and fragrance industry labors to manage and meet the demand. Is this sustainable?
Such was the tone of Firmenich global sustainable development director Boet Brinkgreve’s nuanced presentation before Centifolia's 7th International Congress on perfumery and natural raw materials. “We want to make sure the next generation has what we have now,” he said.