oikosNewsFrancophone Meeting: Discussing sustainability and innovation in agriculture

Francophone Meeting: Discussing sustainability and innovation in agriculture

09 December 2018 | News

On the weekend of 16th to 18th November, French-speaking members and alumni from oikos Lausanne, St Gallen, Reims, Brussels, Leipzig and Moscow gathered in Lausanne for the third edition of the Francophone meeting, to discuss sustainability and innovations in agriculture and the food supply chain.

Aurélien G. Démaurex, CEO of Ecorobotix, presented the challenges of modern-day weeding. His company makes small robots that target weeds locally using complex algorithms. They reduce the number of used chemicals by 90%, and avoid soil compacting, unlike big agricultural machines. The founders of New Roots explained how they use traditional cheese-making processes but with plant-based resources in order to make cheese without animal sources. They use cashews as the main ingredient and obtain higher yield compared with the cow’s milk. They talked about the sustainability aspects of these two kinds of milk and presented us the techniques used to mitigate their carbon footprint in the process. The presentation ended with a tasty degustation.Participants took part in a workshop with Sascha Nick, CEO and founder of CO2-monitor, where they calculated the energy requirements of the food they consume and how to reduce this amount. The presenters inspired the participants but were also challenged with critical questions during the Q&A sessions.  The founders and key members of oikos Lausanne, as well as the Executive Board of oikos International, presented the oikos alumni network. They reminded the participants how valuable the alumni are and emphasized the importance of contributing to these community.

Then the oikees visited the UNESCO Heritage site of the Lavaux vineyards, viewed in its full splendor during the sunset walk. They were greeted by winemaker Pierre Fonjallaz at his home, where he produces wine using biodynamic methods. They learned about the principles of biodynamic farming, which is a more developed version of organic farming. His philosophy is that he should not stimulate nature to overproduce, even though this means incurring some losses in certain seasons.  For him, it is necessary in order to reach a more sustainable world. The discussion was followed by a wine tasting.

It was a weekend full of interesting discussions, developing and reinforcing relations between the chapters and sharing ideas and a good time!