Demeter is the brand for products from biodynamic agriculture. Only strictly controlled and contractually bound partners are permitted to use the brand. A comprehensive verification process ensures strict compliance with the International Demeter Biodynamic Standard, as well as applicable organic regulations in the various countries; without a gap, through every step, from agricultural production to processing and final product packaging.
Hikiän is the first Finnish honey producer to receive the Demeter certification (in Conversion), and thus at the moment the only one that produces biodynamic honey in Finland.
Biodynamic agriculture is based on sustainable use of natural resources. It emphasizes the importance of a self-sufficient and distinctive farm complex. Biodynamic farm forms its own ecosystem, which in turn increases the diversity of rural nature and includes not only lands but also crops, livestock, people and the nature around the whole area.
In biodynamic cultivation, the aim is to leave the land for future generations more vivid and fertile than it has itself been obtained. The cultivation method is the oldest of the trends in organic farming. It comes from a multifaceted cultural development project initiated by Rudolf Steiner.
- The principles and values of biodynamic cultivation fit very well with Hikiän own values. I personally don’t want that the traditional and sustainable beekeeping methods change. It is important that we have pollinators also for the coming generations, we are dependent on them, the CEO of Hikiän and the third-generation beekeeper Reko Nieminen says.
Biodynamic cultivation emphasizes the creation of diversity, ecological space, the responsibility of the farmer and the consumer for nature, domestic animals and mutual cooperation throughout the chain "from field to table", and the importance of high-quality food for people's quality of life.
A beekeeper may be granted Demeter certification if the beekeeper is able to demonstrate sufficient suitability for biodynamic production and the quality requirements for honey in accordance with the Demeter standards are fulfilled.
- You know for sure that the product and production process are supervised from start to finish, and that the product fulfills the organic production standards when there is a Demeter logo on the label, Reko Nieminen says.
The number of pollinators decreases strongly all the time. 1 in 10 bee and butterfly species in Europe is on the verge of extinction. Insect pollination is vital to the world, as it is important for both plant reproduction and the supply of healthy food.
Bees are now more than ever dependent on human care. Keeping the colony strong is the most important goal of a Demeter beekeeper. The regulations and standards are extensive, and the inspection of the farm and the entire honey production chain for certification is very precise and detailed.
Bees can fly up to six kilometers to gather nectar, so it cannot be assumed that they would collect nectar only from biodynamically areas. In Demeter honey production the hive maintenance is more important, and especially the fact how close they get to the colony’s own natural life cycle.
- Maintenance methods have to be planned so that the bees can live as natural life as possible. Our hives are made from wood, and the well-being of the bees is the most important thing of all, Reko Nieminen opens up Hikiän principles.
Encountering the values and strong respect of naturalness were the main reasons why Reko Nieminen decided to apply for this certification.
The basic premise of biodynamic honey production is that bees are allowed to be and live in peace, and for example let them build the essential part of the hive, the honeycomb, completely freely. Also, hives are not waxed in advance. In this matter biodynamic production differs from, for example, organic production.
In Finland, the Demeter brand is administered by the Biodynamic Association.